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Wasis Diop

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Wasis Diop (born 1950 in Dakar, Senegal) is an internationally renowned musician known for blending traditional Senegalese folk music with modern pop and jazz.

The son of a Senegalese high official and member of the Lebou tribe, Diop left Senegal in the 1970s to study engineering in Paris, but once there turned to music, joining a fellow Senegalese musician, Umban Ukset, in forming the band West African Cosmos. Diop left the band in 1979 to start a solo career, and over the next decade achieved some small success, particularly in partnerships with singer Marie-France Anglade and jazz saxophonist Yasuaki Shimizu, but it wasn’t until the early 1990s that his career began to take off with the success of his first album, the soundtrack to the film Hyenes (which had been directed by his brother, Djibril Diop Mambety).

More albums followed: No Sant in 1995, Toxu in 1998, and the compilation album Everything Is Never Quite Enough in 2004.

He lives in Paris and writes much of his music in French. Among English-speaking audiences, he’s probably best known for African Dream, a single off No Sant which made it to the Top 40 list in England, and Everything is Never Quite Enough, which featured on the soundtrack to the 1999 film The Thomas Crown Affair.

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