PAN AFRICAN PROJECT
Since the beginning of 2021, Seckou Keita has been writing new music and invited some some of his long time friends, musical heroes and African legends. to be released in a series of for pan-African collaborations throughout the year and beyond.
Homeland featuring Baaba Maal
Seckou is thrilled to present his latest single HOMELAND to be released on 25th June 2021 and featuring star vocalist Baaba Maal.
HOMELAND celebrates things many take for granted, as simple as food, the intimate connections to the elderly, children playing in the streets, a general joyful spirit, and the exceptional natural, and still preserved landscapes that surround them.
Both musicians carry a sense of respect and somehow nostalgia for tradition but through their music acknowledge, one note at a time, the inevitable changes, conveying a spirit of hope, that we will all be drawn to contribute to make the world a better place. And while Seckou is descended from the griot lineage, who traditionally played and singed for kings and queens, he shows that his heart and music resonate with everyone who hears it.
Baaba Maal and Seckou Keita’s paths have crossed many times over the past 25 years at festivals and shared stages. They have developed a mutual respect and love for each other's music and have been talking about a collaboration for a while. They finally used the quieter time offered by the pandemic to realise their wish with HOMELAND.
At the start of 2021, Seckou set himself the ambition to work on a series of Pan-African collaborations throughout the year and beyond and invited some of his friends, musical heroes and African legends to work with him, with the aim to eventually release an album. In February 2021, Seckou released his first single ‘Elles Sont Toutes Belles’ featuring Aida Samb, a popular Senegalese singer. Now, Seckou brings us HOMELAND, the second track recorded with the legendary singer Baaba Maal.
The thinking behind these collaborations started last year as Seckou was coming back from his tour in Australia, New Zealand and Dubai. Like everyone else, Seckou found himself confined to his Nottingham home with surreal feelings: confusion, disillusionment and fear.
It is not unusual for artists and others to move from their small towns, rural areas and sometimes their own country to pursue their careers. Whilst the Covid pandemic was a difficult time, like many others, Seckou took this opportunity to take stock and reflect on what was really important to him. Family and home came first. So at the end of 2020, Seckou travelled back to Senegal to return to his beloved birthplace and wrote this tribute song. There he re-connected with the legendary singer Baaba Maal who immediately accepted his invitation to collaborate.
While Seckou praises life in the green and lush Casamance (southern Senegal), for Baaba Maal, home is Podor, a former river stop-over located in the heart of the historic region of Fouta-Toro in northern Senegal, a semi-desert region on the border of Mauritania. Seckou and Baaba both sing about the simple joys and beauty of everyday life.
Press contact Angie Lemon :
On Friday 12th February 2021 celebrated Kora player, Seckou Keita is set to release Elles Sont Toutes Belles, ‘They Are All Beautiful’, - the first single in a series of pan African collaborations to be released throughout 2021.
In a career spanning 25 years, Seckou has become a household name with his unique style and ground-breaking collaborations with the likes of acclaimed classical Welsh harpist Catrin Finch, and Cuban jazz pianist Omar Sosa.
ELLES SONT TOUTES BELLES featuring Aida Samb
2020 was meant to be a year of live concerts with 100 booked all over the world but Covid changed everything. It has been a few years since Seckou has released a single rather than an album, but with time off stage he was free to write new songs, connect and re-connect with musicians online.
The Kora track from Elles Sont Toutes Belles was written, performed and recorded by Seckou during the first lockdown in his home studio in Nottingham. The track was then sent to his friend Afro-American hit producer known as Hakim, who then programmed the beats from Senegal and in December 2020 Seckou travelled to Dakar to record the other musicians.
For this collaboration, Seckou invited one of the most popular Senegalese singers Aida Samb to join him. Like Seckou, Aida Samb comes from a Griot family (traditional musicians) and started singing at an early age. Aida has been a backing singer with musicians including Youssou N’Dour, Baaba Maal or Paps Diouf. Her career rose when she won the Best Traditional Female African Artist category at the Kora awards in 2012. Since then, she has become one of the most in demand Senegalese singers of her generation.
The result of this collaboration is a warm, groovy and uplifting exploration of Senegalese pop music where Aida’s golden voice perfectly complements Seckou’s vocals.