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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.


Billie Holiday - Lady Sings The Blues
Musically, it's so beautiful. It's one of those classical voices from that time. Ladies singing the blues: the title is very powerful. It's a woman singing her problems. The blues to me is when you cannot cry about your problems, you have to sing them. It's a kind of survival song. She's crying inside but she transforms her voice into a kind of hope.

Can you remember the first time you heard that track?

It was the same time I discovered Nina Simone. When I was in Mali, I never had the chance to hear that kind of music. In Mali, we listened to Malian music 200% of the day. We are not very in touch with other types of music, not our generation. Maybe Bob Marley. Otherwise, you grow up with traditional music, so when I came to Paris in 2002, my boyfriend put me in touch with all these classic songs. I always go to those ladies' voices to reconnect myself.