Thione Ballago Seck (born March 12, 1955) is one of Senegal’s greatest singers and musicians in the mbalax genre, on par with Baaba Maal and Youssou N’dour although he didn’t achieve the same level of fame outside his country. Seck comes from a family of “griot” singers from the Wolof people of Senegal. His first job was with Orchestre Baobab, but he later formed his own band, Raam Daan, which he led.
Seck formed another band in Ramadan of 1983, having deviated from Star Band and Baobab.
He was known for his generosity, helping the needy. Seck was a dad of the famous musician, Waly Seck.
Thione composed several educative songs.
Seck’s album Orientation was one of four nominated for BBC3 Radio’s World Music Album of the Year in 2006. In much of his music, and notably on this album, Seck experiments with the use of Indian & Arabic scales. This supplements his laid back vocals and the band’s intense sabar driven rhythms, and displaces the band’s more usual guitars, horns, and synthesizers. This album was made in collaboration with a range of more than 40 North African, Arab, and Indian musicians, playing diverse instruments and creating a fusion of styles. Seck has stated that Bollywood films were a longstanding musical influence for him, and the experiment in a fusion style reflects this.
Other albums include XV Anniversary Live! (his second international release) and Daaly. He contributed “Laye M’Boup,” a tribute to the late Orchestre Baobab leader, to the The Music In My Head soundtrack.