Edited by Azizi Powell
This post showcases two examples of Senegalese vocalist Youssou N'dour's song "Serigne Mbacke Sokhna Lo" (also given as "SMSL"). Information about Youssou Ndour is also given in this post along with information about Mbalax music, and information about the religious leader Serigne Mbacke Sokhna Lo.
The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.
Thanks to Youssou N'dour for his musical legacy. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post, and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.
INFORMATION ABOUT YOUSSOU N'DOUR
"Youssou N'Dour ...1 October 1959) is a Senegalese singer, percussionist, songwriter, composer, occasional actor, businessman and a politician. In 2004, Rolling Stone described him as, "perhaps the most famous singer alive" in Senegal and much of Africa. From April 2012 to October 2012, he was Senegal's Minister of Tourism and Culture, and from October 2012 to September 2013, he was Senegal's Minister of Tourism and Leisure.
N'Dour helped to develop a style of popular Senegalese music known in the Serer language as mbalax, which derives from the conservative Serer music tradition of "Njuup". ...
N'Dour was born in Dakar to a Wolof mother and a Serer father. At age 12, he began to perform and within a few years was performing regularly with the Star Band, Dakar's most popular group during the early 1970s. Several members of the Star Band joined Orchestra Baobab about that time.
Despite N'Dour's maternal connection to the traditional griot caste, he was not raised in that tradition, which he learned instead from his siblings. His parents' world view encouraged a modern outlook, leaving him open to two cultures and thereby inspiring N'Dour's identity as a modern griot....
N'Dour is one of the most celebrated African musicians in history. His mix of traditional Senegalese mbalax with eclectic influences ranging from Cuban rumba to hip hop, jazz and soul won him an international fan base of millions...
Folk Roots magazine described him as the African Artist of the Century. He toured internationally for thirty years. He won his first American Grammy Award (best contemporary world music album) for his CD Egypt in 2005.
He is the proprietor of L'Observateur, one of the widest-circulation newspapers in Senegal, the radio station RFM (Radio Future Medias) and the TV channel TFM.
In 2006, N'Dour played the role of the African-British abolitionist Olaudah Equiano in the movie Amazing Grace, which chronicled the efforts of William Wilberforce to end slavery in the British Empire....
In 2011, N'Dour was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in Music from Yale University.
In 2013, N'Dour won a share of Sweden's $150,000 Polar music prize for promoting understanding between faiths as well as for his music."...
INFORMATION ABOUT MBALAX MUSIC
"Mbalax (or Mbalakh) is the national popular dance music of Senegal and the Gambia. Mbalax is a fusion of popular Western music and dance such as jazz, soul, Latin, and rock blended with sabar, the traditional drumming and dance music of Senegal. The genre's name derived from the heavy use of accompanying rhythms used in sabar called mbalax.
History and influence
Mbalax (meaning rhythm in the Wolof language), is a type of music that traces some of its technique to the conservative and the religious Serer music tradition of Njuup (the progenitor of Mbalax), developed in Senegal in the early 1970s. Like many other francophone West African countries the Senegalese popular music scene was partially influenced by soul, blues, jazz, R&B, and rock from the United States, varieté from France, Congolese rumba, and Latin pop from the Caribbean and New York (e.g., pachanga, son, charanga, salsa, and Latin jazz) .] In this mix of African diasporic sounds Senegalese fans and musicians wanted their own urban popular dance music so they began singing in Wolof (Senegal's lingua franca) instead of French, and incorporated rhythms of the indigenous sabar drum (see Mangin). Dancers began using moves associated with the sabar, and tipping the singers as if they were traditional griots"...
INFORMATION ABOUT SERIGNE MBACKE SOKHNA LO
"This great-grand-son of the founder of the Mouride brotherhood is one of the richest religious leaders and best known in the country and abroad, one of which everyone speaks and everyone wants to meet...
The mere mention of his name causes hysteria among some of his followers. His followers are unleashed to approach, touch, on his rare public appearances. Serigne Mbacke Sokhna Lo, whose real name is Mohamed Mbacke, great-grand-son of Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba, who founded the powerful Mouride brotherhood of the late nineteenth century in the Senegalese groundnut basin, saw its heyday. Boroom Taif ak Beyla ("the master of Taif and Beyla," two villages deep Senegal), is "the man of that time," as the Mouride tradition designates one in each generation"...
"The Mouride Sufi Brotherhood is a sect of Islam that boasts over four million followers today, mostly concentrated in Senegal and The Gambia.
The Mouride Sufi Order was founded by Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba in 1883 in the Senegambia region of West Africa. At this period there was a great deal of social dislocation and economic hardship in this region because of the impact of colonialism. Bamba thought that people needed to be more directly connected with Allah through hard work and prayer. He also taught his pupils that they should be responsible for their behaviors, have a useful occupation, and should be self-reliant. Originally the followers of the Mourides were youth, former slaves, and soldiers of the colonial administration or those from the Wolof ethnic group…
Touba, the most famous Mouride city, is the largest city in Senegal outside of Dakar. It was founded in 1887 by Bamba’s sons and his followers. It is known as a center for groundnut production and most of Touba’s residents are active in farming and shipping the groundnut harvest. Some followers consider Touba to be a holier site than Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Touba also boasts the Great Mosque which is one of the largest mosques in all of Africa."...
Example #1: Youssou ndour-Smsl
Sukalii221, Uploaded on May 24, 2008
Selected comments from this video's discussion thread:
Omar Noir, 2008
"oh snap, this song is like a classic in mbalax. one Youssou's best.. :D"
"proud to be wollof what a culture , deep i mean deep"
ndiogou mbathie, 2015
LE ROI DU MBALAX
translation from French to English = King of Mbalax
Example #2:Youssou N'Dour - Serigne Mbacke Sokhna Lo
Omar Diop, Uploaded on Oct 3, 2011
Bercy is where this concert was held.
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