Born the son of a fisherman in Podor, Senegal, Baaba Maal grew from his humble beginnings with an insatiable passion for music. He went to Dakar’s university to study music, going on to earn a scholarship for post-graduate studies at the prestigious Beaux-Arts school in Paris. Yet Baaba Maal is more than just a student of music – he exhibits a deep-rooted, passionate understanding of the African tradition as well as a keen ear for modern trends in world music. He has found ways to incorporate ragga, salsa, and harp music into his songs, giving him a unique sound that is just as full of surprises as it is with vision.
Alongside fellow Senegalese musical visionary Youssou N’dour, Baaba Maal is one of the most internationally famous Senegalese musicians to have ever lived. Following in stride with Youssou, Baaba Maal has actively looked for ways to use his talents and fame to fan the flames of positive change in Africa. In 2007, Baaba Maal was featured as part of the Live Earth concert in South Africa. He has offered several contributions to the Red Hot Organization’s series of compilations benefitting AIDS awareness, prevention, and treatment.
Even after spending three decades performing internationally, Baaba Maal continues to express his beautiful passion through music, finding the hearts and changing the lives of audiences all over the world.