Rokia Traore Discusses Mali on PBS NewsHour

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Thursday January 02, 2014

From PBS NewsHour

Singer-songwriter Rokia Traoré on why you can’t take music away from the people of Mali
By: Victoria Fleischer

Born in Mali to a diplomatic family, Rokia Traoré has traveled throughout the world, picking up pieces of herself along the way.

That mix of origins is reflected in her music, which combines African and Western musical styles and languages, creating what she calls, “Malian contemporary music — a mix of a profound Malian culture in which my music and my personality is rooted and also opened to all my influences I had during my travels when I was a child.”

Her new album, “Beautiful Africa,” is an ode to her home continent, but its more than just that.

“Singing about Africa is like singing about myself … it’s like singing about my story,” she said

Traoré was living in Mali during much of the recent troubles, including the Islamic insurgency that, among other things, banned music in the north. But it didn’t stop her from making music and telling her story.

To read more click here and watch the PBS NewsHour segment below: