‘The voice of young African womanhood’, Malian actress, musician and activist Fatoumata Diawara blends ancient and modern African styles on her latest album FENFO.
Born in the Ivory Coast to Malian parents, singer-songwriter and guitarist Fatoumata Diawara, or Fatou for short, boldly flies the flag for modern African music. Since her 2011 debut album, Fatou, she has collaborated with Mulatu Astatke, Gorillaz, Bobby Womack and Herbie Hancock, honouring her traditional roots while exploring contemporary styles.
More recently, she shared the stage at New York’s Carnegie Hall with the likes of David Crosby and Snarky Puppy, in an evening of topical protest songs. Rolling Stone said that Diawara’s performance provided two of the night’s most striking moments and that her ode to the power of women, Mousso, was hypnotic. Her International Festival appearance promises to be just as compelling.
A rising new star from Mali. She has the most gorgeous voice, a fantastic sense of melody and her guitar playing fuses spare blues, folk and funk. Go see her.