Sound Culture Presents: World Music Festival Chicago 2012
Introducing a fresh new talent with a unique sound, a bagful of beautiful self-penned songs and a tumultuous life story behind her, Fatoumata Diawara’s debut album, ‘Fatou’, was released on World Circuit on September 19, 2011.
Tall, superbly poised and elegant, with an iridescent smile, this sometime star of African film draws elements of jazz and funk into an exquisitely sparse contemporary folk sound – refracting the rocking rhythms and plaintive melodies of her ancestral Wassoulou tradition through an instinctive pop sensibility. At the centre of the music is Fatou’s warm, affecting voice, spare, rhythmical guitar playing and gorgeously melodic songs that draw powerfully on her own often troubled experience.
Now based in Paris, and still only 29, Fatou has had a life covering a whole gamut of contemporary African experience: fighting parental opposition to her artistic ambitions and the cultural prejudice faced by women throughout Africa, winning success as an actress in film and theatre, before finding her feet in the medium she was always destined to make her own: music.
Like Tinariwen, with whom it shares band members, Malian guitar gang Terakaft (which means “caravan” in Tamasheq) has a rotating cast. Known for their nomadic Saharan lifestyle, the Tuarag people have a rich musical history that Terakaft successfully incorporates into its sinuous boot camp blues. The rock rebels meld pulsating grooves, smokey riffs and flashes of Afrobeat with old-school traditions inspired by the history of their culture. Inspiring the young while mourning the loss of ancestral lands, Terakaft join Tinariwen at the forefront of the Tuareg desert rock rebellion. “…. haunting, hypnotic and beautiful…the band’s minimalistic approach powerfully evokes the expanse and solitude of the Sahara.” AfroFunk Music Forum.