Just four letters to represent such a great Senegalese artist, whom Quebec adopted back in 2014. In 2020, his album NÉNÉ (which means, Mamma) was chosen as Best World Music by ADISQ and, before that, he featured among Radio-Canada’s 2016-2017 Révélations in world music. Like fellow musician Baaba Maa, he is of the “Land of Teraanga,” from Senegal’s Fouta region. He first studied at music at the École nationale des arts de Dakar, a productive laboratory for writing and composing that would serve well later on. A true Montrealer, he is part of the local circle of musicians, with the likes of Yann Perreau and André Vanderbiest (Les Colocs), and has even performed the Gilles Vigneault classic, J’ai planté un chêne. Inhabited by a sense of universality, ILAM comes across as totally genuine on stage, free of pretense, whether in Senegal or elsewhere. He plays with a range of rhythms, moving from desert blues to Afropop or pop-rock incorporating hints of reggae and soul. Popular from here to Europe and beyond, the singer-songwriter has played at the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Francos and, of course, Festival Nuits d’Afrique! Ambassador of music transcending all borders, he sings in Wolof, Fula, French and English.

Senegal, Qc
Festival international Nuits d'Afrique 2023