Fatoumata Diawara Extends her Reach on 'Fenfo'

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Monday March 18, 2019

From North Shore News

Afropop superstar Fatoumata Diawara extends her reach on Fenfo
By: John Goodman

Fatoumata Diawara has built a modern global career from her traditional West African roots. Last month the Afropop superstar performed live on the Grammy Awards telecast. Nominated for two awards (Best World Music Album for Fenfo, and Best Dance Recording for her vocals on the Disclosure track ‘Ultimatum’) she brought out an electric Gibson and played an extended guitar solo during the performance of her song ‘Negue, Negue,’ with the big Grammy house band.

‘I am trying to create my own world,’ she says over the phone. After the Grammy’s Diawara toured Australia and is taking a short break at home this week before she starts a North American stint.

‘In Africa you do not often see a woman playing an electric guitar. I’ve been trying to keep traditions but at the same time be open to the world and I wanted something new. It’s very important to find one more freedom, you know. I didn’t take normal guitar lessons. I play with my heart. It’s kind of my blues. I use a modern instrument, instead of the kamele ngoni or the kora, but I’m transposing all those sounds to my Gibson guitar.’

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