Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba – Salsa Xalel (Official Music Video)

“Salsa Xalel” from Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba’s ‘Routes.’ Out June 29, 2018 on Twelve | Eight Records. Directed and Edited by D.L. Anderson. Senegal footage by Austin McCall. US footage by D.L. Anderson, Bruce dePyssler, Daniel Hargrove, Tony Cunningham.


Xalel means child in Wolof. This song asks what kind of world are we leaving for our children? What are they going to inherit from us? Are they softly singing us a song that we need to listen out for? They will soon be the musicians, the teachers, the presidents of this world. How can we show them the right way to live? As for the music, my father always loved to sing and dance the salsa, and that always influenced me. In Senegal, we blend classic salsa with the most popular national dance music, mbalax, using local percussion instruments, koras, balafons, flutes, and traditional singing styles.

Our children are the future / we need to show them the right direction / there will be a day when we are no longer here / their feet will soon be where our feet were / each child is precious / we are not allowed to abandon them In the distance hear them calling Bamba / children of the coming rising sun / what will be the world they meet tomorrow / if we don’t make the peace before they come? / In the distance hear them singing Bamba / voices of the day that’s yet to be / melodies are made of love and sorrow / let the music wash your spirit free

Diali Keba Cissokho – Lead Vocals | John Westmoreland – Electric Guitar, Charango | Jonathan Henderson – Bass | Austin McCall – Drum Kit | Will Ridenour, Sidya Cissokho, Ablaye Daffé, Ablaye Cissokho, Mamadou Cissokho, Abdou Ndiaye, Bayemor Mbaye – Sabar | Sunkare Kouyate – Balafon | Ibrahima Sene – Tama | Tamisha Waden, Shana Tucker – Vocals | Lynn Grissett – Trumpet | Andy Kleindienst – Trombone | John Westmoreland – Horn Arrangement, English Lyrics | Will Ridenour – M’bour Horse Cart Field Recording