Baaba Maal

Podor is a nice town. It’s at the north of Senegal near the river. The town faces the other country that is Mauritania. It is a very cultural town, because at the beginning it was closest stop when you come from the Sahara and also when you come from the south to go to the north part of Africa. It was just at the middle, and so it’s where a lot of cultures of West Africa come together.

I did not like that name “world music” in the beginning. I think that African music must get more respect than to be put in a ghetto like that. We have something to give to others. When you look to how African music is built, when you understand this kind of music, you can understand that a lot of all this modern music that you are hearing in the world has similarities to African music. It’s like the origin of a lot of kinds of music.

I never experimented with the hoddu like I wanted to do. Like on the song “Allah Addu,” the hoddu and the voice is something that belongs to West African culture. When you go to the north of Mali, in the past it was just the singer and one instrument player. We never really did have that on our CDs. On some other songs, like “Laare Yoo,” we have a whole section of hoddu, something like four of them playing together.

I think that I learned music. And also you learn recommendations that you can use in your life. When you travel, you all the time remember what your mother teach you. You know in the African family the mother has a big role to play because the father is outside in the fields or going to work.