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ments. They’ll demo the song, with Lô also on percussion and Sarr on guitar as well as bass, then take it to his producer who’s based nearby. It’s how he records every album.


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Lô goes into the studio with the band, demo in hand. “Every- one comes and we listen to the demos so that everyone knows the basic chords.” Jamm has a spontaneity about it, which basically stems from not just this way of working, but from it being put together using GarageBand. Eventually mixed both in Dakar and London, it features some fine saxophone playing by his old mucker Pee Wee Ellis.


iscussing his creative process in more detail, Lô explains the songs are, as might be expected, the product of “just my own mentality. I write something down, even a title maybe, that’s the first thing I do. Then I pick up my guitar and I start by finding a rhythm, whatever it might be that appears in my head and after that I tell myself, ‘Wait, that must work with something, maybe with this word or these words’. If the words don’t fit I adapt them to the music. I try to find refrains in the same way, refrains that match the rhythms I’m playing. I think about all that, and then I say to myself, ‘Voila, a song!’ And that’s how I do it.”


It turns out that his lack of technological expertise is really only a footnote in the story of the last five years of Jamm making. During that time the music business imploded, though this turn of events hasn’t really affected Lô either.


“Maybe I’m lucky because my record label hasn’t dropped me and they’ve given me time to do my work, and so my work can develop. Normally contracts are about two or three years, but I prefer going slowly and softly and precisely to be sure about my work. Even the record label, once you’ve finished the album and all the work you’ve done, they take their time as well before releasing the album. Why? So that the work is done well.”


And Jamm works very well, so maybe listening to it will inspire you too, to ponder the mysteries in life and also, somehow, come to believe that nothing’s impossible.


www.myspace.com/cheikhloofficial


With thanks to Cathia Randrianarivo and Max Kinder for their invaluable help with translation.


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Photo: Jak Kilby


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