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Fatoumata Diawara will perform a rare solo set at Rough Trade East to celebrate the release of her new album ‘Fenfo’ through Wagram/Montuno. The follow-up to Diawara’s widely acclaimed debut ‘Fatou’, the album was co-produced by Diawara and Matthieu Chedid (otherwise known as -M-) and recorded in Mali, Burkina Faso, Barcelona and Paris.
Hailed as one of the most vital standard-bearers of modern African music, Fatoumata Diawara takes her artistry to fresh and thrilling heights on her new album. Boldly experimental yet respectful of her roots, it’s 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.
A modern day storyteller, the eleven songs – sung mostly in Bambara - cover such timeless subjects as respect, humility, love, migration, family and how to build a better world for our children. “I didn’t want to sing in English or French because I wanted to respect my African heritage,” she explains. “But I wanted a modern sound because that’s the world I live in. I’m a traditionalist, but I need to experiment, too. You can keep your roots and influences, but communicate them in a different style.”
“Fenfo’ expresses how I feel and how I want to sound,” Fatoumata says. “It’s a record that says who I am.”
Her spectacular 2011 debut album ‘Fatou’ was hailed by Pitchfork as a “beguiling album” that “simply surrounds you with its atmosphere”, The Guardian described it as “spellbinding” and Gilles Peterson declared Fatoumata to be “one of the most exciting talents I’ve heard in a long time”.
“Fatoumata Diawara from Mali is a rising star of African Music”
"Seven years, it turns out, ain’t but a blink of the eye when you’re waiting for a superstar to arrive”