Since Friday, the Senegalese and African musical landscape is furnished with a newborn. « Yolele », a new single by Senegalese musician, singer and multi-instrumentalist Cheikh Ibra Fam, is on the music platforms.
Formerly known as Freestyle, the Senegalese nightingale artist, currently a member of the legendary group Orchestre Baobab, and straddling his native land and Reunion Island where he spends most of his time, Cheikh Ibra Fam has decided to embark on a solo experiment. The result is « Yolele », a single that has been adopted by Internet users since its launch. On YouTube, the song has already accumulated more than 3,000 views in less than 24 hours. And for good reason! A real mix of traditional Senegalese sounds and more modern melodies where acoustic guitar, percussion and brass tickle the eardrum in a harmonious marriage, « Yolele » is bound to get even the stiffest of bodies dancing.
While talking about daily life, Cheikh Ibra Fam wanted to distil joy through this track. For those who are curious to know what « Yolele » means, the author of the song answers: « Yolele » is a word to please, to seduce a person. I use it in my song to please the person I’m talking to. For example, if you sing for your girlfriend, you say « Yolele, Yolele, Yolele… » before saying your words. My Fulani friends have told me that this word does not particularly mean anything specific. It’s used to please people, it’s used in many songs, during weddings, etc. Or just when people have a good time. Or just, when people want to send a nice message to each other, to invite to dance in Africa, they say « Yolele » in the Fulani language. In the end, it’s a word like « Taratata ». A word that belongs to the Fulani imagination.
To top it all off, Cheikh Ibra Fam shoots the video for « Yolele » in the colourful setting of Gorée Island, offering a real feast for the eyes. A foretaste of the festival of colours and sounds that the artist has in store for his public in his album « Peace in Africa », which is due for release on 14 October 2021.
When asked why this first international album, and if he continues the adventure with Orchestre Baobab, Cheikh Ibra Fam answers: « Before being a member of Orchestre Baobab, I released two albums under the name Freestyle and a third album in 2018 when I was already a member of Orchestre Baobab. Currently, I am releasing my first international album under my own name Cheikh Ibra Fam, a first and a new project in its own right. This does not mean a departure from Baobab, but a natural step for my solo career. Even when I developed this solo project, the members of Baobab were part of it because they are like family to me. Papa Thierno Koite played the saxophone for « The Future », Papa Balla Sidibe on « The Future » and Wilfrid Zinsou the trombone for « Yolele ».
Yolele Yolele Yo…