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Fatoumata Diawara (Mali)

A subtle revolution

Fatoumata Diawara is one of the foremost artists from the flourishing West African music scene. When she visited Oslo World in 2012, she set fire to the festival. Since then, a great deal has happened. She has sung on Bobby Womacks comeback album, she has cooperated with Damon Albarns African Express and she has won numerous accolades from influential music personalities and publications. She has been an activist and she has worked as an actor – most notably, perhaps, in the Oscar nominated film “Timbuktu” (2014).

There is so much happening around her, especially now in the ramp-up to her second album, “Fenfo”, that the subtlety and light touch of the actual music may come as a surprise to some listeners. Fatoumata Diawara nods to the heritage of her family while she displays a natural interest for the modern music surrounding us in 2018. Fatoumata’s family hails from Mali. She sings in Bambara, the language of her ancestors, and is cautiously optimistic about the country’s future. “Mali is a very conservative country. That is not a bad thing – through music we can slowly change things,” she has told The Guardian. Diawara holds no illusions about the complexity of such tasks – but through her music, she makes it sound easy.

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