Hailed as Senegal’s latest “musical revelation,” AÏDA SAMB was born in 1988 into a gawlo (griot) family. Her music is rooted in the traditional sounds and rhythms of the Tukulor and Wolof people of western Senegal.
Aïda was given the chance to have an early start in music. By the age of 8, she was already directing the choir of her school’s theater group. At 13, the Committee for the Education of Girls (SCOFI) chose her to perform throughout the city of Mbacké, in a campaign to convince parents to send their daughters to school. This set her on the path to becoming a professional artist, as she began to receive awards and was encouraged to pursue a career in music. She combined singing and studies in keeping with the wishes of her parents, but by the end of secondary school her passion for music overcame her formal education.
In 2004, at age 16, Aïda was discovered by Youssou Ndour’s “Jololi” label and offered a 4-year contract. During this period she performed and recorded with Ndour himself, as well as with Senegalese stars such as Baaba Maal, Kiné Lam, Pape Diouf, Aby Ndour, Adiouza, Assane Ndiaye, Abou Thiouballo, Abdou Raas and Yoro Ndiaye, among others.
That same year, she was selected by the UK-based 1 Giant Leap project to participate in the film and album What About Me? (One World Music, 2009), where she was featured alongside some of the greatest musical luminaries from around the world.
Launching her solo career with the release of her debut CD, Sarabaa (Prince Arts, 2012), Aïda received the esteemed Kora Award as “Best Female Traditional Artist” of 2012. The album is a tribute to her grandfather, Samba Diabaré Samb, the great griot historian-genealogist and master of the xalam, who has been named a “Living Human Treasure” by UNESCO.
Today, Aïda Samb stands proudly on the shoulders of her ancestors while creating her own force to be reckoned with. Her new CD will be released today December 7, 2017 (Prince Arts, 2017).