YOUSSOU NDOUR

BLICK BASSY

Youssou Ndour’s latest appearance at Les Nuits remains unforgettable: back in 2015, a concert with the Opera de Lyon orchestra. Appearing girded in a white boubou gown, his voice had from the get-go created a shockwave, the air around suddenly feeling thicker and more vibrating. Which other voices are capable of creating such physical phenomenon? Faize Ali Faiz’s? Danyèl Waro’s? It is to this rare galaxy of singers that the Senegalese belongs, as he returns to Les Nuits with a new album, History, built around tributes (to the Nigerian singer Babatunde Olatunji or his late musical director Habib Faye) and collaborations (with the Congolese Mohombi, or singer Seinabo Sey).

Hard to forget as well Blick Bassy’s first coming to the festival: it was also in 2015, opening for Joan Baez who was amazed by his concert... The Cameroonian singer was here to present his third album, the stripped down Akö on the Nø Førmat! label. It was then for him like a new start, the rising of a creator whose conscience and aura grows now even bigger on this new record : previewed by the song “Ngwa” and its astounding music video, “1958”establishes him not only as the ambassador of the bassa culture, but also one of the major voices of the African continent.