A stunningly charismatic singer with humbly cloaked voice and a beaming smile who is considered a giant of African music.
His multi-coloured clothing, although not related to music, aptly characterises it: with natural freedom he mixes Senegalese mbalax, Nigerian Afrobeatand Congolese rumba, but also funk, Cuban salsa and Caribbean and Brazilian rhythms. Altogether a fascinating mix of music, reminiscent of a cocktail with delightfully balanced flavours, and which today is something for which he alone has the patent in Africa. Of all the West African singers he remains the least ambitious: His latest album Balbalou is only his fifth since 1996. Cheikh is connected to the faith of the Sufi Baye Fall brotherhood, linked with hard work and devotion to spiritual leaders. “In my songs I say: you do not need to be Baye Fall, it is enough to live like a human. We cannot afford the futility of ignoring his views, as we live in troubled times. And also the fact that on the day of the resurrection Baye Fall’s drums will have you dancing all the way to heaven.”