Omar Pene

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Omar Pene (born 1956 in Dakar) is the emblematic lead singer of the Super Diamono.[1]

He was born in the working-class neighborhood of Derkle, in 1956. In the mid-1970s (1975–1976), he joined the Super Diamono, one of the longest running Senegalese popular bands- just as the Orchestra Baobab and the Super Etoile of Dakar. Recruited by Bailo Diagne, the first bass-player and a founding member of the group, Pene stood out as the most natural fixture in the band.

Along with his band members Bassirou Diagne, Bob Sene, Aziz Seck, Lapa Diagne, Adama Faye, Abdou Mbacke and shortly after, Ismael Lo - already known as 'l’homme orchestre' (one man band) due to his solo performances - they helped shape Senegalese contemporary music.[1] During the 1980s, in Dakar, there were two dominant types of melomanes, the ones bitten by the frenetic and highly syncopative Mbalax of the Super Etoile, who frequented Djender and later on Thiossane night club, and those who religiously consumed the progressive bluesy-funky- soulful brand of local fusion of Super Diamono- who filled the Balafon Club located in the other side of town, near the Port Autonome de Dakar. Although Omar Pene and Youssou Ndour, always maintained an healthy and lively artistic competition, their supporters pledged a loyalty only seen among opposing football fans (soccer). In many ways, both used the Mbalax, which is almost unavoidable, once the Sabar is involved, but they did it differently.

Over the years many of the group’s original members went on to other things, Omar Pene stayed; and to this day- even as he is now enjoying his solo journey he uses the Super Diamono, and what ever that is left of it, as a backup band. Omar Pene established himself as a “conscious singer,” instead of indulging in praise songs- as many of his contemporaries did in honor of the riches and famous, he maintained a repertoire of socially engaged and sensitive songs. To this date, he has released dozens of hits in more than thirty albums and cassettes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Harris, Craig. "Biography: Omar Pene". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 

External links[edit]