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Mané – Promoting the Music and Culture of the Senegalese

Introducing the creator and founder of Senegal’s premiere internet music magazine, Ndèye Mané Toure.
We are interviewing the interviewer to understand why she created this vehicle to highlight the music and the artists from her country.

What got you interested in interviewing artists? Why did you start doing this?

I am very pleased in interviewing the artists in view to discuss with them the art that they are very personate of doing but not getting into their private lives. That said in Senegal, there is lack of musical information in regards with the artist, and most of the times, they got interviewed only when they are encountering problems quite often are related to personal matters.

This brings me to the following question which is why did I start doing this?

I did this for this simple reason not only to create the first Senegalese musical website which is but also to have a database on Senegalese music and at the same time it is used as well for display. Then, we wanted to interview the artists and feed our website. I started this in January 2009.

Was it easy to get started?

I think it was quite feasible, contrary to what we thought about when working on the project but at the end we were really surprised because it was not as awful as we thought it would be. Nevertheless, we have endured some troubles in regards with certain artists and managers to the extent that we wanted to let them know the interest or importance of having a website which led to an area of mistrust at the beginning but along the time they saw the advantages. Moreover, the other issues we were dealing with were the artists of old generation, interviewing them were not obvious.

Is it easy to get access to the people that you would like to speak to or do you sometimes have trouble getting past managers and publicists, etc.?

Yes I would say it is easy to have access to the artists apart from those that I have mentioned previously “The old generation”. Even for those the international artists who come to Dakar it is quite easy to interview them. At the very beginning I had two to three contact artists to whom I called to explain what I wanted to do for them in order for their fans or public to have more information on their musical actualities which they did appreciate very well to the point that they hooked me up with other artists. It is thus; by interviewing them I was taking some pictures to illustrate their articles. From then on, people started calling me by their own will. So as time goes by, I was going to some night club and other venues to link some partnerships with the managers. And with my media badge, I could have access to any places without incurring to any problems. Now I don’t call almost anymore because most of the cultural agencies have my contact details and if need be they phone me for an appointment with the artist whether they are national an international artist.

What do you want other people to get from the work that you do?

What I want from other people to get from the work that I do is to learn from me as much as I learn from them and create a line of communication between us and to make sure that they appreciate the remarkable work I try to do for them, as well as earn their respect and trust so that way I will be highly recommended to other artists.

Do people reach out to you looking for you to interview them?

Yes indeed, couple of artists phones me to interview them but sometimes it is the even agencies that call me to propose me some artist. Rarely, if need be I call some artists to interview them.

How did your website and interviews become so popular?

My interviews and website become so popular thanks to the site that has been created for musical events only and for your information; it is the only site that Senegal hues to publish the daily news of the artists so far hence its popularity. By doing so, when I post an article on a website, basically two to three other websites copy it, it then allows to the artist to have more visibility and get many comments at the end.

Editor’s note:  Mané designed and maintains the website and does all the graphics herself.

Your myspace page is written in multiple languages.  Who does all of the translations?

I speak four languages: Wolof, French, English and Spanish. Wolof is my native language; the French is the official language in Senegal as for the English I learn while I was at 6th grate. Last, Spanish is the second language in our high school right after English, so I am able to do the translations myself.

Who were some of your favorite people that you spoke to and why?

My favorite people that I spoke to were Morgan Family and Timshel Band of Dakar because of this simple reason I love reggae music and consequently I adore reggae singers.

What are you future plans for your internet magazines and your career as a publisher and interviewer? Where do you hope it all takes you?

For my future plan, I intend to do the same with the students enabling to keep their best grade online. In my case, I lost my entire good grade I earned in School. In the meanwhile, I continue to work with the artists in the time being to promote the Senegalese culture throughout its music. It is true that you find or know many who are just like me meaning have with them big projects but the means are not in their favor so they like to work with what they have. I think this will take me where it will take me, as to be interviewed for example by a website administered thousand of miles away from my hometown (laugh).