Senegal's Diali Cissokho and his bandmates in Kaira Ba are releasing their excellent new album, Routes, today.
Cissokho comes from a long line of Mande musicians. He moved to North Carolina from Senegal for love and, after many trials and practices, eventually found the perfect musicians to form the band, Kaira Ba, in 2012.
For Routes, Cissokho brought his American bandmates to Senegal in order to jam and create with artists across his home town of M'bour. The 11-song record was then recorded across both sides of the Atlantic, which gives it a unique Afro-rock groove.
Today, we're premiering the music video for album highlight "Salsa Xalel," a song that ponders our responsibility towards our children and the state we're leaving the world in for them.
Cissokho tells OkayAfirica that the video and song also could also be seen as a response to the horrible family separations happening at the US-Mexico border at the hands of the current U.S. government.
"Xalel means child in Wolof," Cissokho explains via his label Twelve | Eight Records. "This song asks what kind of world are we leaving for our children? What are they going to inherit from us? Are they softly singing us a song that we need to listen out for? They will soon be the musicians, the teachers, the presidents of this world. How can we show them the right way to live?"
"As for the music, my father always loved to sing and dance the salsa, and that always influenced me. In Senegal, we blend classic salsa with the most popular national dance music, mbalax, using local percussion instruments, koras, balafons, flutes, and traditional singing styles."
Watch our premiere of the new video for "Salsa Xalel" below and stream Routes underneath.