Being, is an album about being from Africa, being a songwriter, being a romantic, being a realist, being wary, being online, being at the mercy of the elements, being on your way somewhere, and ultimately about being from Podor while being connected through song and dance to an always changing, always challenging world. 

Ideas about sound, movement, and sensation materialised at home based on recent experiences touring the world and lengthy, freestyle musical workouts with friends and favourite Senegalese musicians. The jams, loops and beats passed back and forth between Maal and Johan Karlberg, generating their own character and atmosphere. This ‘whatever happens, happens’ combination of fast and slow time, of speeding up and cooling down, of nature and technology became part of the music’s essence, along with the combining of indefinable ancient ritualistic mood with futurist exuberance, a futurism of heart and mind..

On Being, there are seven songs shimmering between dirty thorny desert blues and intangible electro-spirituals, between uplifting chants and trance-like freak outs. They are about generational debts and conflicts, rivers, watching people, seeing new generations of Africans make themselves felt, the impact of technology, remembering dreams, the magic of place, the strangeness of time, the feeling of home, the stars above, and the rhythms inside and out. Mixing up signs of a new Africa, there is a welcome reunion with The Very Best’s singer Esau Mwamwaya on ‘Freak Out’ and appearances from exciting new singer Rougi on ‘Boboyillo’ and Mauritanian rapper General Paco Lenol on ‘Nbedo Wella.’ 


“Always in my life, but especially in these last years, especially during the years of the pandemic, I discovered in my true soul that the only thing that matters to me is to just be. Whatever happens, it has to happen, and we have to deal with it. But my wish is that good things happen to me and to all people, so we can always be together, we can always travel, we can always discover how much this world, this planet can be beautiful. Being a musician is how I express this wish and how I try to make it come true.”

Baaba Maal

Track listing

1. Yerimayo Celebration
2. Freak Out Ft. The Very Best
3. Ndungu Ruumi
4. Agreement
5. Boboyillo
6. Mbeda Wella
7. Casamance Nights

Buy Album

Buy/ Stream the new album, ‘Being’

Press Quotes

His most satisfying outing in decades ★ ★ ★ ★
– Mojo

‘Being’ is the most enjoyable album Maal has released to date 8/10
– Clash

Just when you thought that Baaba Maal had no more surprises up his sleeve, along comes Being, a shimmering, stomping work of glory
– New Internationalist

You don’t need to understand the words to get the sense that Maal’s music is serving a higher purpose ★ ★ ★ ★
– The Times

Baaba’s soaring voice has never sounded more soulful. A fabulous return by one of Africa’s greatest living voices ★ ★ ★ ★
– Songlines

 Barbican Live May 30th

On May 30th, 2023, Baaba and his band will also be performing at The Barbican in London, his first appearance at the venue in 20 years. Hear Baaba perform tracks from ‘Being’ in the Barbican’s exquisite concert hall, book your tickets now to avoid any disappointment.