MUSIC SPOTLIGHT, IN CELEBRATION OF THE AMAZING YOUSSOU N’DOUR FROM SENEGAL

Some of the most exciting sounds to come out of Africa in the late ’80s and 1990s were produced by Senegal-born vocalist Youssou N’Dour. Although rooted in the traditional music of his homeland, N’Dour consistently sought new means of expression. In addition to recording as a soloist, N’Dourcollaborated with a lengthy list of influential artists including Paul SimonPeter GabrielNeneh Cherry, and Branford Marsalis.

A native of the impoverished Media section of Dakar, N’Dour inherited his musical skills from his mother, a griot (oral historian) who taught him to sing as a child. A seasoned performer before his teens, N’Dourjoined the popular group the Star Band de Dakar at the age of 19. Within two years, he had assumed leadership of the group, which he renamed Super E’toile de Dakar. With the band accompanying his four- or five-octave vocals, N’Dour helped to pioneer mbalax, an uptempo blend of African, Caribbean, and pop rhythms. Performing for the first time in Europe in 1984, N’Dour and Super E’toile de Dakarmade their North American debut the following year.

 

N’Dour‘s talents soon attracted the support of top-rated musicians. In 1986, his vocals were featured on Paul Simon‘s Graceland and Peter Gabriel‘s So. He subsequently toured around the world as opening act for Gabriel. His greatest exposure came when he agreed to be a co-headliner, along with GabrielBruce SpringsteenSting, and Tracy Chapman, on the Amnesty International Human Rights Now! tour in 1988. The same year, he performed at the much-publicized birthday concert for South African activist (and president) Nelson Mandela at Wembley Stadium in London.

 

N’Dour cemented his reputation in 1989, when he released his first internationally distributed album, The Lion, which included a tune, “Shaking the Tree,” that he co-wrote with Gabriel. Upon signing with Spike Lee‘s Columbia-distributed 40 Acres & a Mule label, N’Dour scored a Grammy nomination in 1991 with his first effort for the label, Eyes Open. He continued to seek new outlets for his creativity, including an African opera that premiered at the Paris Opera in July 1993. Recorded in Senegal, N’Dour‘s album The Guide, released in 1994, included his hit duet with Swedish-born vocalist Neneh Cherry, “Seven Seconds.”

 

A steady stream of greatest-hits packages, reissues, singles, and even a few full-length records — including a handful on Nonesuch, 2002’s Nothing’s in Vain, 2004’s Egypt, and 2007’s Rokku Mi Rokka — poured out during the late ’90s and into the next century, featuring N’Dour working with artists from Etoile de Dakar to GabrielEgypt, which went on to win a Grammy, caused quite a cultural and political stir when it was released during the month of Ramadan. A documentary DVD centered around the whole affair, Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love, appeared early in 2010 and included a biography of N’Dour‘s career as well as extensive concert footage and film of N’Dour working on the Egypt project. The following year, he was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in music from Yale University.

 

In 2012, N’Dour embarked on an unsuccessful run for president of Senegal. However, that same year he was appointed tourism and culture minister by Senegal’s then prime minister, Abdoul Mbaye. By 2013, he had returned to performing, although it took him several more years to return to the studio. In 2016, N’Dour delivered his 34th album, Africa Rekk, featuring guest appearances by AkonFally Ipupa, and Spotless.

 

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About Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez

Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Broadcast Journalist, MC and Youth Empowerment Consultant . He is also The CEO of AFRICA4U and The Founder of Africans in The Diaspora People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities, bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events …involving both BME and mainstream communities. He is skilled in hosting events that reinforce community cohesion and bringing different kinds of people together. He has organised events in The UK, The U.S.A, Holland, Germany, Romania, Malta and Nigeria and has visited over 22 European Countries. Tony has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for over five years in a row He continues to promote the true life and success stories of Africans in Europe and Africans around the world and has organised several small scale literary and awards initiatives aimed at empowering young people. He has also spent time as an International broadcaster and was The Producer and Presenter for AFRICA4U International Radio Talk Show at Reading4u Radio Station for nearly three years. Tony has interviewed high profile Members of Parliament, Distinguished celebrities and some of Africas best musicians including Ivonne Chaka Chaka and Kanda Bongoman. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio on numerous occasions to discuss the community cohesion events he organises at UK House of Parliament and also to recite some of his published work in memory of Nelson Mandela, 50 Years Anniversary of The race relations act and major community issues. Tony has also a Guest on popular Radio stations in Nigeria and The States In the last few years he has been very passionate about Youth empowerment, community cohesion and cultural intelligence. Tony was born in South London and has lived in several parts of England and Nigeria . He started writing at the tender age of nine, a habit he expressed with creative enthusiasm. Tony writes Poetry, short stories and proverbs on personal development. He is currently working on his 4th book which will also be his first novel. He is also into Public Speaking at Special events and Social functions and is a Mentor for young people in the UK Community. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Lagos, Nigeria in English and World Literature. He later went on to attain a teaching qualification at The Frances King International Training Institute, South Kensington London, it was here he studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He also studied Web Design at The City University in London. He published his first book in June 1999 called “The Beauty in the Dark” (A Collection of Poetry which received critical acclamation in many circles around the world). .Tony’s aim in life is to inspire the young generation and to encourage the youth to make the very best of their dreams and aspirations,. He published a 2nd book in June 2009 called ” The Sound of Running Water” – A Family gift book of proverbs and quotations on Personal Development and Positive Thinking . In December 2009, he published his 3rd book called “One Moment of Peace”.- A collection of Poetry inspired by personal experiences and spiritual growth. Besides the fact that the Artist has won International online awards, he is mostly inspired by Life experience, love, music and cultural awareness. He was Resident Poet at the 5th London Poetry Festival in 2009 and has been a guest on BBC Radio on very many occassions including The famous Anne Diamond Show. He has also been a guest on a few SKY TV stations and several International Radio Stations around The World
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