Rokia Traoré: "World music was expecting me to be what I'm not"

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Monday May 20, 2013

From The Africa Report

Rokia Traoré- A path between multiple identities
By: Rose Skelton

“‘World music’ was expecting me to be what I’m not,” Traoré says. “I’m not a griotte [praise singer]. I’m not from Wassoulou. I have not been in a national orchestra. I am not able to make traditional Malian music”

Rokia Traoré has gone back to school. She is taking social sciences and anthropology, has considered journalism and thought about training as a translator.

In the meantime, she has made a new album, with the rather understated title – given the length and breadth of subjects, ideas and concepts covered within – Beautiful Africa.

The studies, on top of musical collaborations, worldwide touring, theatre performances, running a music training school in Mali and the success of her 2008 album Tchamantché, are the fulfilment of a promise she made to her father when she gave up studying to pursue a career in music.

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