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

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A look back on The Wood Room session with producer Phil Ramone and mix engineer Richard Blair.

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