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14 juillet 2008

Songs of Freedom - Emmanuel Jal interview

By the age of eight, Emmanuel Jal was a hate-filled soldier for the Sudanese rebels. Now this gentle young man tells Nigel Williamson how his experiences inform his unique brand of music.


(...) His tone is quizzical, as if he still cannot quite believe that he has survived. Yet his voice also betrays a quiet determination. That he did survive against the odds has given him a sense of mission and the profundity of his experience is reflected in the vivid eloquence of his music. Shortly after our meeting, I asked Peter Gabriel for his opinion just before he introduced Jal on stage at Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday concert in London's Hyde Park last month.

"I remember my first meeting with Youssou N'Dour and it was clear he was going to have an influence in the world way beyond his music and I felt the same way when I met Emmanuel," Gabriel answered. "He has an evangelical zeal and I'm convinced he will have a huge influence way beyond his African roots. He's still developing his musical voice, but we could be looking at an artist with the potential of a young Bob Marley." (...)

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