Baaba Maal’s [BA-ba Marl] daring and dazzling new album, ‘Being’, will be released on March 31st, 2023.
Today sees the release of his energised new song ‘Freak Out feat. The Very Best’, the second track on ‘Being’. It is a mesmerising example of Baaba alchemy, blending the traditional and the future, with producer Johan Hugo’s visceral electronic production combining with a uniquely modern African sound and a lyric exploring the dynamic of social media and its various effects on Africa and the wider world. Vocalist Esau Mwamwaya of The Very Best also features.
“It became a song about being careful what you put on the internet,” says Baaba Maal, “It might seem funny or popular when you do it, but it might have consequences and you will have to live with those all your life.
“There are things you should keep to yourself. Mystery is important in life; you don’t need to shine a light on every little thing you do. You don’t have to give away your soul for the sake of a little bit of attention.
“The internet should be used to make humanity feel good about themselves. It is so powerful, it can be dangerous and sometimes it just seems the internet has just caused a constant freak out.”
‘Being’ is a powerful continuation of Baaba Maal’s pioneering, transcendent and inspiring work over the last forty years, always committed to making the world a better place, blending the traditional and the innovative, the acoustic and the electronic. Extending his productive partnership with producer and multi-instrumentalist Johan Hugo Karlberg (Self Esteem, The Very Best, Santigold), his first album since 2016’s ‘The Traveller’, ‘Being’ was recorded in Brooklyn, London and Senegal and confirms Maal as one of the most uniquely compelling and constantly surprising musicians in the world.
The video to accompany the track shows scenes from Baaba’s incredible Blues De Fleuve festival which takes place annually in his hometown of Podor on the Senegal River, bringing together musicians, artists, singers activists and more from all over West Africa – “The Glastonbury of Africa”, as Baaba says. It is directed by acclaimed Oscar nominated Emmy winning American director, cinematographer and film editor David Darg.
Baaba and his extraordinary band will also be performing at the Barbican in London, the first time in 20 years at the venue, on May 30th, 2023.