Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara has grown to become one of the most important vocalists of her generation to come out of Africa.
She is often described in terms of her voice. It’s soulful, sensuous, poignant and passionate. But perhaps the foundational qualities she brings to her music are wisdom and independence.
The Malian musician has performed around the world and collaborated with other artists; played a key role in the Oscar-nominated film Timbuktu and formed a supergroup of Malian musicians to sing for peace during the country’s civil war.
Her style is influenced by Wassoulou music, a West African genre that helped inspire American blues. It was on her second album Fenfo from 2018 (see some stellar reviews here) that she moved away from the intimate sound laid out on her debut album Fatou (2011). Instead, she moved towards bold, tension-building songs with a funky, sizzling backbone.
What hasn’t changed is her social consciousness. Her songs deal with immigration policy, domestic abuse, and cultural assimilation. She perfectly balances thorny topics with gorgeous songwriting.
Tall and sculptural, Fatoumata Diawara is a majestic presence on a live stage. Equipped with the guitar and her voice and joined by a well-playing band, her songs are given beautiful shine live. Just have a look at a clip from her show at Roskilde 2019.
The Malian singer is joined on stage by Angélique Kidjo and Mayra Andrade.
Angélique Kidjo became a fixture of global music with her multilingual fusion of Afrobeat, pop, jazz, reggae and various African inspiration along with her collaborations with a wealth of artists like Peter Gabriel, Alicia Keys, Dr. John and Branford Marsalis. You may remember the smash hit “Agolo”. She last played at Roskilde Festival in 1994.
Mayra Andrade is a Cuban-born, Cape Verdean singer who has been praised for her modern interpretation of the traditional Cape Verdean morna music. Her languid and sad-edged songs also looks to West African pop and Lisbon’s Afro-Portuguese dance music for inspiration.
Look forward to a stellar show with some of the best West African singers across generations.