We caught up with him to ask him about the shows; and about world music at the Fringe in general.
What have you been up to since the release of Fatalima earlier this year?
We’ve been performing a lot, and venturing out of Edinburgh a bit more – at the Jazz Bar, Solas Festival, Ecofusion, Kelburn and Wickerman. I’ve also been writing new songs and practising traditional songs, especially with Souriba Kanoute, our new Kora player. We lived about 10 minutes from each other in Dakar but never met till he moved to Edinburgh earlier this year!
You’re playing Africa Calling at the new Assembly venue in George Square – what can we expect from those shows?
We’ll be showcasing traditional Senegalese and African music as well as playing our own songs. We’ll have a rolling lineup, with a slightly different combination of musicians and songs each day, to keep it fresh and jumping!
You’re also gigging at the Jazz Bar – what will be the difference between the two shows you’re playing?
The Jazz Bar will be a more relaxing chilled out sound to wind you down and lift you up. But on Sat 13th we’ll crank up the pace for a full-on Senegalese party.
What’s your view on the world music scene at the Festival; and in Scotland in general?
I think world music gets a lot less attention in the mainstream than it deserves – there are a huge number of talented musicians (from many countries) who don’t get the attention they deserve, and are struggling as a result There is some extraordinary talent in Edinburgh at the Festival – for example my friend Seckou Keita (kora) will be performing at the Assembly Hall later this month with Italian Antonio Forcione and Brazilian Adriano Adewale – it’s great that they are getting this platform, but they won’t get anything like the attention the celebrity comedians get. (with honourable exceptions like Edinburgh Spotlight).
What do you like best about playing at the Fringe; and about the city in August in general?
I love the Festival! It gives me the opportunity to meet up with lots of other musicians from all over the world, compare myself and sometimes jam with them. It’s a great time to network/collaborate etc.
And the parties of course!
What do you have planned for after the rest of the year and for 2012?
At the end of August we’re heading to the Wizard Festival and the Edinburgh Mela. If everything goes to plan we’re hoping to take the band to Senegal in 2012 – some of them have never been and I’d love them to experience it first hand. We want to tour more widely in the UK and Europe – we’re looking for good festivals to play at. And I’d like to do more musical collaborations so I can stretch myself musically.