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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.


Nina Simone – 'Feeling Good'
Nina Simone is special to me because of her voice, the fact that she sings very low. When I listened to her voice for the first time, I asked my husband, 'who is this man?' and he said 'no, it's a woman!'. I told him: 'no, it's impossible, she's got a voice like a man!'. That was my first impression of her voice and of her music. I like to sing very low when I'm in the studio so I felt very comfortable listening to Nina Simone, because this is the way that I wanted to write my music and sing. Also, the fact that she wrote a lot of protest songs. 'Feeling Good'- you can interpret it as you want. When I listened to this song for the first time, it was my introduction to Western music. I was in Paris, and listening to this song was like freedom to me. Freedom, because when I left my family [in Mali], I ran away.