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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.


Ali Farka Touré & Ry Cooder - Talking Timbuktu
This record was revolutionary. Very subtle, very elegant. I do a lot of collaborations now. This record gave me all the answers I needed at that time. I realised that you can work with people and keep your soul. You don't need to change anything. Keep being yourself. Keep defending your truth.

What do you think made it have such wide appeal? At the time it was a very successful crossover record wasn't it, featuring both Malian and Western musicians. Why do you think it was so popular?

Because they found the middle, the balance. People like to collaborate but it's very difficult to find the middle.

You mean finding the middle in terms of the different personalities?

Exactly, personality, music, spirit. Malian people can listen to it, find themselves. And Western people can listen to it and hear the blues inside. It was open. And you could see that they enjoyed it. They did it with a lot of patience. No ego. It was a love album, very beautiful.