Our story

Expressive singing and rhythmically rocking music define this unique and charismatic duo. Together with their groovy band they line up well-known artists from Senegal and Sweden on kora, guitar, percussion and bass, combining influences from reggae, mbalax, folk, soul and blues.

The combination of their rhythmic energy and intimate vocals makes their music unforgettable. Their original music style has made Sousou and Maher Cissoko a well-known duo on many different stages at everything from world music to large pop festivals and intimate yoga festivals.

Since the release of their albums Adouna (2008) , Stockholm-Dakar (2011) and Africa Moo Baalu (2014) they have toured in 30 different countries performing at events such as Way Out West, Peace & Love Festival, Gwanju World Music Festival, Sauti za Busara Festival, Festival Sur Le Niger, and have been supporting big-name artists including Toumani Diabate, Bassekou Kouyate and Amadou & Mariam. They have performed several times in Swedish and Senegalese National Television and Radio.

Maher Cissoko was born into a legendary griot family in Casamance, Senegal, that has seen the art of kora playing being passed from generation to generation through more than 700 years. Maher has embellished this tradition and developed his own explosive and danceable style.

Sousou Cissoko, a singer from Sweden is one of few female kora players in the world. She fell in love with the kora at an early age and travelled to The Gambia aged only 19 to study the West African Mandinka traditions. Since then she has travelled many times in West Africa to study kora, singing and guitar.

It was when Sousou was invited by the BBC Music Award winner Solo Cissokho to spend time with his family in Ziguinchor to learn their style of kora playing that she met Maher. “You just take the taxi to Ziguinchor and ask the driver where I live and you will find my home,” Solo said, and that’s exactly what Sousou did a few months later. When she arrived in Ziguinchor, Solo was not there but the rest of the family was and among them Maher Cissoko.

The foundation in the kora musical tradition is to constantly renew and find your own way, and that’s literally what Sousou & Maher are doing. In 2011 they drove all the way from Stockholm to Dakar, a trip that became the inspiration for new songs and the ability to see connections where others see boundaries.

Sousou & Maher have been nominated for several recognition music awards, including Newcomer of the Year 2010, Band of the Year Nominee 2011 and Album of the Year Nominee 2012 in Sweden’s World Music Awards. For their achievements they have also been awarded City of Stockholm’s Cultural Grants and been supported by the Swedish Arts Council and Swedish Arts Grants Committee.