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Kalsoum’s music talks about the everyday problems of our society. She speaks to other young people like her, to persuade them to do something about it.

When we hear Kalsoum roar, we are gripped by some kind of primeval emotion; there is something gut-wrenching in her voice. Suspense is created as she surprises us when her voice goes deep and the atmosphere becomes sombre; then becomes a sharp cry of suffering and we are overwhelmed with the desire to shed tears, but she knows how to comfort us and finishes in a sensuous, whispering voice. The audience isn’t wrong; their faces immediately light up, a smile on everybody’s lips. And for those who don’t understand Wolof, there is a frenetic desire to understand her lyrics.

What’s great is that Kalsoum sings in Wolof, English and French; the blues, soul, funk, jazz and rap. She likes slam and when she speaks, we feel her passion and appetite for life and the need to break down barriers, as in the song “Four Walls”. Inspired by such voices as that of Aminata Fall, Kalsoum could choose to sing well-known hits but she has written her own lyrics which she prefers to share with her public.

Like many artists, Kalsoum dreams of changing the world and she speaks to an audience of all ages and backgrounds. She loves singing live on stage to the audience: her gestures testify to this; her back arches, then huddles up; her arms stretched out to the sky or to an invisible being; a smile appears; her look attempts to break the mysteries. Kalsoum is also humorous. The young girl keeps a critical eye on herself and her environment; she seems to provoke us while maintaining a certain innocence as she draws our attention to our weakness.

Nathalie Chenet

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