Pape & Cheikh

Childhood friends Pape and Cheikh are from Senegal, where they grew up listening to their country's traditional music as well as to western singer-songwriters.

Papa Amadou Fall and Cheikhou Coulibaly, born in 1965 and 1961 respectively, grew up in the central Senegalese town of Kaolack and have been close friends since the age of eight. Pape, lead singer and principle lyricist, is the poet and romantic extrovert; Cheikh is the more introspective, yet practical of the two.

Steeped in the traditions of their Serer region of central Senegal, but citing Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and Joan Armatrading among their prime influences, Pape and Cheikh brilliantly encompass both concepts of folk music.

They emerged from their studies at Dakar Conservatoire as a vocal duo, with music that is both beautiful and socially resonant – and has garnered major recognition in West Africa and subsequently in England and beyond. They were selected for the juried Globalfest event during New York City’s annual Arts Presenters conference, where they performed to critical acclaim.

They recorded one album for Real World Records entitle Mariama.

Further reading

7 RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Award nominations for Real World artists

The RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards will take place in Vicar St., Dublin on 24 October 2019.

Iarla Ó Lionáird & Ríoghnach Connolly awarded Folk Singer of the Year titles

The lead singers of The Gloaming and The Breath were honoured at ceremonies in Manchester & Dublin.

Track of the day: ‘Áthas’ by The Gloaming

Find out more about one of the stand-out tracks on The Gloaming's third album.

9Bach on keeping the Welsh folk music alive, fresh and evolving

9Bach reflect on 10 years as a band, and adapting Welsh folk music on their debut album.