Assane Ndiaye Rocks the House in Washington DC
Roxana Bangura had an opportunity to speak to Senegal’s singing sensation Assane N’diaye during his US tour.
Assane Ndiaye is one of the most gifted singers to come out of Senegal because of his griot heritage. In Jollof, the lingua franca of Senegal, a griot is a Ngewal–someone who records history through song. Assanse’s voice is high and sharp with a sound that is unique to the Ngewal heritage. In fact, according to Assane, to be able to sing is like being able to breathe; it is simply a normal part of his everyday existence.
When asked what influences his music, Assane said that he is a sentimental person who is drawn to romantic ballads that are sung in French and Arabic. He also writes his best music by the sea in the pre-dawn hours. Assane is certainly no stranger to the music scene because he has been singing for over a decade. His unique sound draws female fans from the shores of Senegal to the concert halls of Paris and the world-beat venues of New York. According to Assane, his longevity in this often times precarious music industry has been his ability to consistently deliver music that is well thought out and planned. He says his music always has a meaning that his fans can relate to and that is how he manages to stay successful. An example of this is his song Xarit which means friendship in French. This song was a huge success for Assane because he was able to use his own personal experience and that translated itself in Xarit.
Assane said that in the past he has worked with other musicians however, as an independent artist, it is hard to collaborate with others outside of your country because the funds are simply not available unless you are backed by a major label. Also obtaining a visa to travel to a Western country is particularly challenging because often times musicians defect to countries when they travel for shows. This is turn makes it hard for an artist to gain entry into a Western country. However, this will not deter Assane.
His future is bright because he plans on releasing 2 new albums in 2008. One will be released internationally and the other will be distributed on the continent. The albums are yet to be titled because they are still a work in progress but he hopes that their release will secure him a record deal with a big label which will then expose his Ngewel sound to the world.
For more information on Assane Ndiaye please visit this website.