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Rokia Traoré

Rokia Traoré – @ The Festival Les Suds in Arles

On the trips between their country of Mali, the United States, the Middle East and Europe Rokia Traoré writes music, which she herself claims to be “neither pop nor jazz nor classical music – but something very Contemporary traditional instruments”.

This claim remains faithful Beautiful Africa (published on April 1, 2013), a compilation of the most modern compositions, which were recorded on both traditional and electronic instruments.

With brilliant voice and guitar around his neck, the artist presents her new album inspired by the (mis) sounds in the world. So leave it the tragic events in Mali its mark, whether in an ode to the everyday courage of the women in Bamako or in a passionate tribute to their homeland -. And not least on the African continent

From Wikipedia :

Rokia Traoré (born January 26, 1974) is a Victoires de la Musique award-winning Malian singer, songwriter and guitarist, born in Mali as a member of the Bambara ethnic group. Her father was a diplomat and she travelled widely in her youth. She visited such countries as Algeria, Saudi Arabia, France and Belgium and was exposed to a wide variety of influences. Her hometown of Kolokaniis in the northwestern part of Mali’s Koulikoro region.

While the Bamana have a tradition of griot performing at weddings, members of the nobility, such as Rokia, are discouraged from performing as musicians. Rokia attended lycée in Mali while her father was stationed in Brussels and started performing publicly as a university student in Bamako. Unusually for a female musician in Africa, Rokia plays acoustic guitar as well as sings, and she uses vocal harmonies in her arrangements which are rare in Malian music. In 1997, she linked with Mali musician Ali Farka Touré which raised her profile. She won an Radio France Internationale prize as “African Discovery” of 1997, an honor previously won by Mali’sHabib Koité in 1993. As well as guitar she plays ngoni (lute) and balafon.

Her first album Mouneïssa (Label Bleu), released in late 1997 in Mali and September 1, 1998 in Europe, was acclaimed for its fresh treatment and unqualifiable combinations of several Malian music traditions such as her use of the ngoni and the balafon. It sold over 40,000 copies in Europe. see more