Influential Artists from Senegal


Senegal, one of Africa’s most beautiful countries on the West coast of the African continent is known to have a rich French colonial heritage and many natural attractions. What most people don’t know about Senegal is that throughout the African countries, this specific country has the most stable economy than others. As a fun fact, most of the people that live in Senegal are from the Muslim religion. This goes to tell you that the Muslim religion is highly influential in most African countries. In today’s article, I will be introducing a few of the artists from Senegal that have given back to their community while doing what they love and entertaining their people. Some have gained worldwide recognition and others have been local, meaning stayed in their country and still obtained success.

Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam better known as Akon, is an American singer, rapper, songwriter, businessman, record producer and actor of Senegalese descent. He rose to prominence in 2004 following the release of “Locked Up”, the first single from his debut album Trouble. He is very influential due to the fact that he did what he could do in his power to give back to his African people back home.

Cheikh N’Digel Lô is a Senegalese musician. He is also a member of the Baye Fall, a movement within the Mouride Sufi order of Islam. As such, he has dreadlocks, which is part of the order’s customs. The reggae influence in his music, along with his dreadlocks, often leads to the misinterpretation that he is Rastafarian.

Baaba Maal is a Senegalese singer and guitarist born in Podor, on the Senegal River. He is well known in Africa and internationally is one of Senegal’s most famous musicians.

Ismaël Lô (also Ismaël Lo) is a Senegalese musician and dabbles in a little bit of acting.

Viviane Ndour given at birth name Viviane Chidid is a Senegalese pop singer who is the former sister-in-law of Youssou N’Dour. She is known by some as the “Queen of Mbalax”.

Youssou N’Dour is a Senegalese singer, songwriter, composer, occasional actor, businessman, and politician. It is said Rolling Stone magazine described him as, “perhaps the most famous singer alive” in Senegal and much of Africa.

Mor Thiam is a Senegalese drummer, cultural historian, and entertainment consultant. Surprisingly, he is the father of singer Akon that has gain recognition worldwide.

Personally, I believe artists from different parts of the African continents don’t usually get as much attention as they should deserve for making music stay alive, and most importantly giving back to their community. It may be that some artists don’t want the attention just want to do their part in making their country a better place.


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