Ouza (Ousmane Diallo)
has been an influential figure in Senegalese
music. Much respected in Senegal for his critical approach on politics and society, he is less
loved by the authorities in his country.
Ousmane Diallo went to study music in Côte d'Ivoire during the 1960s. He participated in various
traditional music ensembles and ballets before returning to Senegal.
Since 1972, he recorded regularly with various groups of female singers such as Les Ouzettes, Les Filles
Branchées and others. He coached these singers after which some of them started solo careers.
In addition, he was nominated to lead the National Ballet and the National Orchestra of Senegal.
His music is influenced by traditional music, mbalax, but also blues, jazz and soul. Some songs
are as laid-back as the music of Orchestre Baobab
, others have a frenetic
rhythm laid on a foundation of a pulsating bass cadence, so typical for much of Senegal's music.
For years, his music was hard to find in the West, but in 2001 and 2002, two albums with a selection
of his work were released on CD, « Ouza (Best of) »
« Ouza & ses Ouzettes 1975-1990 »
Two children of his are also involved in music, his son Cheikh Lo Diallo
his daughter Adiouza