Brighton Magazine

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Wednesday 01 January 2020

Modern-Day Storyteller & African Music's Current Brightest Star Fatoumata Diawara Makes Rare Visit To Brighton In 2020

The Malian multiple Grammy Award nominee Fatoumata Diawara will play a rare gig in Brighton, next month.
Credit Aida Muluneh

Fatoumata has spent recent years touring the world, as well as working with some of the biggest names in contemporary music. 

She recorded with Bobby Womack and Herbie Hancock; played Glastonbury and other major festivals; and toured with the Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca. 

She assembled a West African super-group featuring Amadou & Mariam, Oumou Sangaré and Toumani Diabaté to record a song calling for peace in her troubled homeland and also climbed aboard Damon Albarn's star-studded Africa Express, which culminated in her sharing a stage with Sir Paul McCartney in London.

Born in the Ivory Coast to Malian parents, Fatoumata Diawara moved to France to pursue acting, appearing in Cheick Oumar Sissoko's 1999 feature film Genesis, Dani Kouyaté's popular 2001 film Sia, le rêve du python, in the internationally renowned street theatre troupe Royal de Luxe, and played a leading role in the musical Kirikou et Karaba. 

She later took up the guitar and began composing her own material, writing songs that blend Wassoulou traditions of southern Mali with international influences. 

Noted for her "sensuous voice," she has performed or recorded with Malian and international greats such as Cheick Tidiane Seck, Oumou Sangaré, AfroCubism, Dee Dee Bridgewater (on Red Earth: A Malian Journey), and the Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou. 

Fatoumata's 2011 debut album Fatou made the Malian singer and guitarist the most talked about new African artist on the planet.  

Her latest Fenfo (which translates as "something to say"") dramatically fulfils that promise on a set of vivid and original new compositions that draw on the rich experiences she has enjoyed since. 


"I've had so many different musical adventures since the last album, touring and working with so many other musicians and I think you can hear how all of that feeds into this record," she says. 

"This is my time and I'm sharing my soul."

Hailed as a standard-bearers of modern African music, Fatoumata Diawara took her artistry to fresh and thrilling heights with Fenfo

A modern-day storyteller, Fatoumata's songs cover such timeless subjects as respect, humility, love, migration, family and how to build a better world for our children. 

Boldly experimental yet respectful of her roots, Fenfo is a record that defines her as the voice of young African womanhood – proud of her heritage but with a vision that looks confidently to the future and a message that is universal.

Fatoumata Diawara plays Brighton Chalk on Wednesday 5th February 2020. CLICK HERE for tickets.

by: Mike Cobley




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Credit Aeman Sukkar, Jiksaw

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