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World Music Matters: Fatoumata Diawara

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Monday July 30, 2018

From RFI

Mali’s Fatoumata Diawara has a lot to say
By: Alison Hird

Seven years after her acclaimed debut album Fatou, the Malian singer songwriter and actress Fatoumata Diawara has released Fenfo meaning “something to say” in her native Bambara language. The Paris-based star talks to RFI about taking pride in African heritage, sexuality and why it was time to forgive her parents for the past.

“Fatou was about introducing myself, telling people who I am,” Diawara told RFI. “Fenfo is telling people what I’ve become.” For a start she’s become a mother and is proud of it. She’s also enlarged her essentially wassoulou folk repertoire to include blues, afrobeat, rock and pop.

[…] While many African artists with international careers record at least a few songs in English, Diawara celebrates her native Bambara. “My relationship with music is all about healing, sharing energy, connecting with people, being generous,” she explains. “When I’m on stage, even if it’s only for an hour or so I want people to travel with me, up into the clouds. So if I can’t be in my element, there’s no point. When I sing in Bambara I feel real.”

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