Secka & Royal Band de Thiès

The Royal Band de Thiès was formed by Mapathé 'James' Gadiaga in 1972, after he had left a school band Cayor Rhythm de Thiès. He soon called upon singer Adama Seck 'Secka' to join him. In their hometown Thiès, the second city of the country with more than 300,000 inhabitants, located around 70 kms East of Dakar, the Royal Band frequently performed in various clubs and venues, and recorded in Club Sangomar. Only occasionally they performed in Dakar.

They released a few cassettes and made it to reasonable fame in Senegal but never made it to international audience nor to an international release. Only a small in-crowd of Senegalese music fans was familiar with them until small Dutch label Dakar Sound released a number of their songs on their compilations. Their music is loved for the expressive, soulful vocals and the raw and funky rhythms. The Royal Band's style of mbalax is quite recognisable.

In 1984, Mapathé 'James' Gadiaga left to join Super Diamono before engaging in other musical adventures, (Johnny Clegg, followed by a period in France), before creating Super Cayor de Dakar back in Senegal.

Another niche label for Senegambian music, Teranga Beat, uncovered their first recordings from 1979, thus far unreleased. The album « Kadior Demb » is the first full-length album available after so many years. Singer Adama Secka made a few solo albums for the Senegalese market.

The Royal Band was quite instable in personnel, and Secka' formed another band, called Super Royal Band. Recently the band was renamed in Secka et les Damels, after the former leaders of the Cayor kingdom (16th - 19th Century). A new album « Wakh » was released in 2015.

Royal Band de Thiès
Royal Band de Thiès   
• Musicians on Vol I - Dioubou:
Modou Sarr leader, timbales;
Racine Aw rhythm guitar;
Issa Diasse guitar;
Amadou Gueye bass;
Pape Thiam bass;
Amady Ndiaye Ramos bass;
Adama Secka, Tidane Fall, Alboury Mbaye vocals;
Zaky Seck tenor saxophone, alto;
Aly Penda Ndoye trumpet;
Sunday trombone;
Biram Diouf congas;
Ousseynou Yade tama;
Pape Abdou Seck sabar
• Musicians on Jomba Gnaw:
Adama Seck 'Secka' vocals;
Ass M'Baye vocals;
Pape Seck, Souleymane N'Diaye lead guitar;
Bachir N'Doye bass;
Oumar Sèye keyboards;
M'Baye Gueye Niang, Modou Sene percussion;
Jacky Seck saxophone;
Soda (=Soda Mama Fall?) backing vocals;
Jimmy M'Baye guitar;

Formed: 1972, by 'James' Mapathé Gadiaga
Style: mbalax

Title Year Label Remarks
Albums by Secka:
Wakh 2015 ? Album by Secka et les Damels
Kaye wone mako/Dinama Yeungueul 2006 Maestro Music Sega production CD
Bataax [n.d.] KSF Productions Cassette (digital release 2012)
Jomba Gnaw 2000 Talla Diagne Cassette
Albums by Royal Band de Thiès
Kadior Demb 2012 Teranga Beat TBCD 016 Previously unreleased 1979 recording
Dévaluation 1995 Local cassette
Vol. III: Ann-Ann 198? Cassette GR 003
Vol. I: Dioubo 1980 Touba K7 Cassette
Older songs on various compilations
Meanwhile in Thiès... 2002 Dakar Sound DKS 020 (CD 2990414) 6 tracks out of 8 are by Royal Band
Their Thing 1994 Dakar Sound DKS 004 Tracks « Guene-Gui Dek » and « N'Dongo Dara »
Latin Thing 1994 Dakar Sound DKS 003 Tracks « Dioubou » and « Ousseynou »

Page added February 2002