We’ve been waiting for the new album by Senegalese mezzo-soprano Julia Sarr for almost ten years. “Njaboot” is an intimate, luminous work.
For those who don’t know Julia Sarr, it’s high time to discover her latest album Njaboot (Barkhane). The public has surely heard it at one time or another without knowing it. Because the interpreter with the mezzo-soprano voice has accompanied a plethora of artists. From Tony Allen to Francis Cabrel, passing by Miriam Makeba, Youssou N’Dour, Salif Keita, or Oumou Sangaré and many others, the singer was, and still is, in great demand by the big names in music.
moments of life
The chorister waited many years before embarking on a solo career. In 2014, released his first record Daraludul Yow, “one dream impertinent of the piano in the savannah”. Critically acclaimed, the album did not go unnoticed. Julia Sarr, who has lived in France for thirty years, has ventured into a universe that makes her special: piano, jazz, the Wolof language and Africa. Almost ten years later, she returns with a new luminous album, the result of numerous collaborations.
To compose an album is to fully surrender. The mezzo-soprano surrounded herself with her accomplices to produce this intimate disc: Fred Soul on composition and piano, a sophisticated Fender Rhodes, and songwriter Alune Wade. Thus was born Njaboot, family in Wolof. And the artist precisely punctuates his work with key moments in life: birth, marriage, exile, death… And since death is only one “passage to another sun”, the song is not sad but full of life. It’s not a paradox, just a stage in life.
In the song Habibit pays tribute to the Senegalese musician Habib Faye, who died of a lung infection in April 2018, at the age of 53. “Hearts are broken / The pain surprised us / He was a good ndeyssane / Our friend is gone”, sings Julia Sarr in a heartbreaking voice.
Julia Sarr is an artist of the intimate, she intends to carry her song in Wolof and explore unknown lands.
(Njaboot, Julia Sarr, Barkhane, 13.99 euros)