"I like to experiment with music. I never stand still," the Senegalese icon tells OkayAfrica in a new interview.
Baaba Maal is a living legend.
The 65-year-old Senegalese icon is largely known for his soaring voice and delicate acoustic compositions, but recent years have seen him take strides outside of that sonic world.
Three years ago Baaba Maal teamed up with producer Johan Hugo (of The Very Best) to release his his latest album, The Traveller, which featured a modern combination of Fulani vocal melodies with electronic pop beats and, even, instances of auto-tune. That same year also saw him record an EP alongside Mumford & Sons, The Very Best and South African pop group Beatenberg.
Last year, the Senegalese star took a turn towards the film industry, essentially becoming 'the voice' of Wakanda for the highly-successful Black Panther movie and its Academy Award-winning soundtrack, by Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson.
Now, Baaba Maal is embarking on another musical exploration: taking his classic Senegalese sound into the world of Western jazz and teaming up with the Town Hall Ensemble, led by Steven Bernstein, for a one-of-a-kind performance.
For his first New York City performance in eight years, Baaba Maal and the Town Hall Ensemble will be translating the sounds of the kora into horns for a wholly original new sound. We spoke with the Senegalese star about his preparation and the idea behind this new concert.
Read our interview below.