Music News and Interviews

Carolina Grown Podcast: Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba


Few artists are as capable of crafting music as emotive and engaging as Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba. Though Cissokho is primarily singing in a wide array of languages that the average layman won’t be able to comprehend, the passion still oozes from this incredibly charismatic performer. The music of Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba is unlike any I’ve heard before, be that from North Carolina or West Africa. Cissokho has been working on mastering the kora since he was 5 years old, and after a few decades the instrument seems to be an extension of himself. Leading up to the release of the band’s second full-length album, The Great Peace, I was joined in the studio by Diali and the rest of the band.

Throughout our conversation the eclectic group of performers shed some light upon the origin of the band, how they met, what the name means, and so much more. The group feels less like a band of musicians and more like a family, they’re tightly knit and seem to share the same deep rooted passion for music. Throughout the hour we discussed overcoming cultural boundaries, inspiration for music, and some of Diali’s rich history in his home country of Senegal.

The band also shared three tracks from The Great Peace  that you can stream below along with our full conversation.

Local Music New Album Review

New Local Music

Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba // The Great Peace

Some truly entrancing music from this Carrboro based outfit. Diali Cissokho hails from Senegal but moved stateside and teamed up with a crew of really talented local musicians to form this incredible band. Some ridiculously dancy tunes interspersed with some intensely emotional tracks. To hell with the language barrier, music is universal. Play it if you’re looking for something different!

Ladyfriend // Ladyfriend EP

This band is split between N.C. and N.Y, but you wouldn’t know that with how cohesive and smooth this EP is. Sort of like a mix between Love Language and Jamaican Queens, Ladyfriend combines surf-psych elements with experimental pop and some slight electronic instrumentation pepper throughout the mix as well. REALLY awesome stuff!

Ellis Dyson & The Shambles // Whiskey Business

The name of this EP is far more descriptive than I’d imagined. These whiskey-soaked tunes can easily lead to some foot-stompin’ hootin’ and hollerin’ (pardon, that’s the eastern North Carolina coming out in me). A bit of ragtime influence thrown in with some exciting folk-rock standards, there’s tons of potential here! Remind me a lot of an early Holy Ghost Tent Revival.

Sinners & Saints // Love & Misery

This Charlotte based duo is churning out some excellent folk-rock music. A lot of strong influences bleeding through on this release, very reminiscent of acts like The Avett Brothers. All around some really enjoyable tunes that range from poppy and anthemic to slower folk-leaning ballads.

Estrangers // Season of 1000 Colors

One of the most slept on local releases of last year without a doubt. Lots of comparisons can be drawn to The Love Language, but Estrangers add enough of their own flair to make it interested and unique (a little bit of classic 50s pop stylings and some sweet harmonies!) An excellent way to kick off Spring is by spinning these sun-soaked tunes!