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Baker's Dozen

Heal Your Soul: Fatoumata Diawara's Favourite Music
Adam Quarshie , April 29th, 2020 09:09

Acclaimed Malian musician Fatoumata Diawara talks Adam Quarshie through her favourite records, explaining the influence of powerful female vocalists from both the United States and from Mali's Wassoulou region.


Alicia Keys - Girl On Fire
I love Alicia Keys - the voice, and the fact that she plays an instrument. The image of a woman being in control of her instrument - it's not often something we see in pop music. We need to play instruments. It's important for our daughters in the future. If you know how to compose, you're free. You can be more than just a singer. You can compose for movies, theatre. You've got more opportunities, more freedom. I do a lot of things as well as music. People call me for other things, different projects. You're part of things that men can do. Because most of the time, projects get given to whoever can play an instrument. People will call you if they like your work. It doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman. The fact that you play an instrument gives you more credibility to work on other things.

What was your first instrument? Was it always guitar or did you learn other things first?

It was always guitar because it's much easier to travel with! And in Mali we use the guitar a lot. So it was natural for me, because I grew up with the electric guitar in Mali.