From the recording Routes
Diali Keba Cissokho - Kora, Lead Vocals | John Westmoreland - Acoustic & Electric Guitar | Jonathan Henderson - Bass | Austin McCall - Drum Kit | Will Ridenour - Sabar | Chuckey Robinson - Organ | Ablaye Daffé, Ablaye Cissokho, Mamadou Cissokho, Abdou Ndiaye, Bayemor Mbaye - Soruba, Sabar | Yaye Boye, Yande, Ndai Mbaye - Vocals | Jason Richmond - M’bour Fish Market and Saly Traffic Field Recordings
The Mandinka word badima means family or relatives, and in this song I speak to the way music can bring about radical change. It was born from a beautiful but difficult moment at my family’s house in M’bour, Senegal. One year when I traveled home, I surprised all my relatives by showing up unannounced, but when I opened the door, everyone was arguing. I couldn’t get them to calm down, so I went to my father’s old room and grabbed his kora. I stood in the middle of the courtyard, and my fingers began playing the Badima melody. Everyone stopped what they were doing and gathered around. I remember I was crying and singing at the same time. After that, we all came together and everyone was laughing! Music did that; it’s a powerful medicine to change things for the better.
My beautiful family / I’m talking to you / listen to this / arguing is not good / I didn’t choose you to be my family, but we are / we have the same blood / God has decided this / so let’s stop yelling and come together