Album: El Hadj N'Diaye, Geej (Marabi)

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The Independent Culture

This Senegalese guitarist's finger-picking has the delicacy and refinement of Segovia, and his voice is infinitely subtle, painlessly getting his messages across.

Those messages – in Wolof, French, English, and Wolofised Japanese – are about Aids and urbanisation, the precariousness of life on the underside in Dakar, where the sea waits to devour those whose boats are too makeshift. As a boy he sold cola nuts in the market, then he studied economics and became an actor, before realising his vocation. 'Geej' means "sea": "Give me your hand," he wistfully sings to it, at the end of the title song.