Habib Faye

News reached us last week of the death Habib Faye, who was a long-time musical collaborator with Youssou N'Dour and features on the album 'Fatteliku Live in Athens 1987' which we released in 2015.

Here, Peter Gabriel remembers Habib Faye:

“I was very upset to receive a call from Youssou last week telling me of the death of Habib Faye, one of the great musicians of the Super Etoile, of Senegal, and one of the best musicians I have had the pleasure of working with.

Over all the years Youssou and I had done gigs together and from my time in Senegal, Habib stood out as the musical mastermind in Youssou’s band. He was a multi-instrumentalist, arranger, writer, producer and of course, a legendary bass player.

I have so many good memories performing and hanging out with him and the band.

Habib was one of those natural musicians to whom you can play something and they can then play it straight back to you – on keys, bass or guitar, memorising and developing on the fly. He helped Youssou forge a new style of music and dance Mbalax that would be loved around the world. He was a gentle, kind and patient man who like many great artists had a humility about him, always open to ideas from any direction – if they were good.

Jaco Pastorius was one of his bass heroes, but his early influences and his taste in music was surprisingly wide and that showed up in all the range of styles in which he was completely at home.

It was wonderful to see his remarkable talent also being recognised by other artists who wanted some of his magic on their records, whether as a producer, writer or player.

A great musician and a great man – we will all miss you Habib.”

  • Fatteliku (Live in Athens 1987)

    Youssou N’Dour

    Released 15 October 2015

    October, 1987. An open-air amphitheatre overlooking the twinkling sprawl of night time Athens. Thousands of people are going crazy for a young Senegalese singer they'd never heard of until Peter Gabriel had walked onstage and introduced him. On the cusp of Western stardom this is N'Dour's opening set from that legendary Live in Athens show.

By Online Editor

Published on Tue, 08 May 18

Further reading

Djivan Gasparyan (1928 – 2021)

The Armenian duduk player collaborated with Michael Brook on the album Black Rock in 1998.

Announcing Palabras Urgentes: the new album by Susana Baca

Afro-Peruvian icon Susana Baca celebrates 50 years in music with this forceful musical statement.

Track of the day: ‘Oppenheimer’ by Loney dear

Loney dear's latest single was inspired by the American theoretical physicist, J.R. Oppenheimer.

Track of the day: ‘El Gamra’ by Bab L’ Bluz

The track is taken from their award-winning debut album Nayda!