Malian star Fatoumata Diawara has shared ‘Nsera’, the first track taken from her forthcoming album, due out next year. Hailed as one of the most vital standard-bearers of modern African music, Fatoumata Diawara’s music remains hard to classify: Afropop, Afrofolk, Afrofutursim. Somewhere between tradition and modernity, guitar in hand, she mixes wassoulou rhythms and West African vocal techniques with contemporary sounds.
Her Grammy-nominated second album ‘Fenfo’ was released in 2018 to universal critical acclaim. Diawara has previously worked and toured with some of the biggest names in contemporary music, including Bobby Womack, Herbie Hancock, Damon Albarn, Sir Paul McCartney, David Crosby, Amadou and Mariam and many others. She continues to pursue a successful career as an actress, including an acclaimed appearance in 2014´s Timbuktu (Le chagrin des oiseaux), which received both BAFTA and Academy Award nominations. Fatoumata, who won ‘Best Female Artist’ at 2020’s African Talent Awards, has also co-starred in Damon Albarn and Abderrahmane Sissako’s theatre project ‘Le Vol du Boli’. Earlier this year, Fatoumata released ‘Maliba’ a collaboration with the Google Arts & Culture platform. The seven new songs formed the soundtrack to a special online presentation of the legendary Timbuktu Manuscripts, which celebrated centuries of Malian culture.
‘Nsera’ is co-written and co-produced by Damon Albarn, who as worked with Fatoumata previously and whose long history of collaborating with African musicians is well documented. Singing and playing keyboards, Albarn infuses a touch of melancholy and modernity into the song’s Mandinka sound. The partnership, which merges the sounds of London and those of the Malian capital Bamako, led Fatoumata to coin the term ‘Londonko’: an imaginary land, bringing two continents together.
‘Nsera’ is accompanied by a video directed by Gregory Ohrel (Orelsan, Jain, Residente). A journey into the heart of Africa, the video parades the continent’s many sides, its cultural richness and diversity. ‘Nsera’ means ‘destination’ in bambara, the official language of Mali. Born in the Ivory Coast to Malian parents, Fatoumata is still eagerly exploring her roots, her land, her culture and her own destination.
Fatoumata Diawara a number of international live dates for the end of this year and the first half of next year:
2022 November 17—Metz, FR—Arsenal November 18—Saint-Louis, FR— Théâtre La Coupole November 20—Berlin, DE— Konzerthaus November 30—Bobigny, FR—Theatre / mc93 December 1—Lille, FR—Theatre Sebastopol December 2— Villefranche-sur-saône, FR—Theatre De Villefranche Sur Saone December 3—Creteil, FR—Maison des Arts – Creteil December 8—Tel Aviv, IL—Barby Club December 9—Tel Aviv, IL—Barby Club
2023 January 14—Vancouver, BC—Chan Center for the Performing Arts January 20—Bezirk-landstrasse, AU—Wiener Konzerthaus January 21—Cologne, DE—Kölner Philharmonie January 27—Bruges, BE—Koninklijke Stadsschouwburg January 28—Grages-les-gonesse, FR—Espace Lino Ventura January 29—Mulhouse, FR—La Filature February 9—Muscat, OM—Royal Opera House February 10—Muscat, OM—Royal Opera House April 15—Seattle, WA—Meany Hall for the Performing Arts April 25—Easton, PA—Williams Center for the Arts May 24—Paris, FR—Salle Pleyel May 26—Arnhem, NL—Musis Sacrum May 27—Groningen, NL—De Oosterpoort May 28—Amsterdam, NL—Paradiso May 30—Den Haag/The Hague, NL—Paard May 31 – Brusselles, BE – Ancienne Belgique