Originally from Dakar, ILAM’s music is universal, like a deep vector of wisdom and sharing. Singing in Wolof, Fulani, French and English is a way for him to transcend languages and break down many barriers.


He began his career in Senegal within a local hip-hop group. His first recordings quickly highlighted different styles: rap, acoustic and traditional sounds. Various influences that will continue to define a sound of his own.


He arrives in Montreal in 2014, and quickly gets noticed by winning the Coup de Coeur du public and L’Équipe Spectra awards at the Vitrine MUZ 2014. Thanks to his unique and irresistible universe, the title of Révélation Radio-Canada 2016-2017 in the world music category was added to this already impressive list of achievements. This incredible public, critical and musical recognition propels her career and rewards two years of work. Quite a journey for an artist who is still far from having revealed the full extent of his talent!


Far from being the last, these stage experiences are declined in various participations that finish to establish his status of stage beast: the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Francofolies, the International Festival Nuits d’Afrique and Montreal Symphonic as part of the 375th of Montreal with 400 musicians and alongside big names such as Wyclef Jean.


In November 2016, he released his first album, Hope, a nomadic and urban offering, where Sahelian blues, Afro-pop rock, reggae and soul accents mix. Quickly noticed at its release, this first opus opens the doors of a Canadian tour. He also had the chance to perform internationally during a tour in China.


His second album Néné – “mother” in the Peul language – will be released on April 17, 2020, under the GSI Musique label. ILAM was very involved in the realization of this project, which includes exceptional collaborations: Meta Dia (Justice), Baaba Maal (Laram), but also Yann Perreau and André Vanderbiest (Les Colocs). 


A vibrant tribute to his mother and his native Senegal, Néné is as personal as it is unifying, moving and inspiring. As part of this special edition, ILAM will take the stage at the National for the real public launch of his album, Néné. The singer will be able to rely on the richness of his voice, his emotions and his songs to offer an evening that is both touching and danceable.


35 years of Nuits d'Afrique