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Fatoumata Diawara

Fatoumata Diawara, a 30-year-old Malian singer, is one of the latest breakout talents from a nation of star-studded musicians. Likened to her mentor, Oumou Sangaré, Fatoumata has been described as the next female African songwriter of significance, lighting up stages around the world with her radiant voice and infectious Afro-pop grooves. She spins elements of jazz and funk into a spare yet sensual folk-rock sound, inflecting it with the rhythms and melodies of Wassoulou, her ancestral song form. Between recording sessions she has found time to collaborate on Damon Albarn’s Africa Express project and contribute vocals to albums by Cheikh Lô, AfroCubism, Herbie Hancock, and Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou.