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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.


Erykah Badu - Baduizm
Erykah! I love her! From Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Bille Holliday I learnt about jazz music. And the sound was quite strange to my ears. It's different to Malian music. It took a long time for me to accept the sound. But Baduizm was something else. Music is about frequency and these frequencies - the way she sings, the arrangement, the groove - I'd never heard this before in my life. This album totally changed my life. I realised that music is infinite.

Because I come from Mali, we're not used to listening to many types of music. We listen to African music, from Senegal, Benin, Guinea. But most of the time we only listen to Malian music. You grow up with a Malian sonority. So Erykah Badu for me was a new world. It was a trip. I had to adapt to accept it and once I accepted it, I went deep inside it. It had a strong influence on my music, the way I write now. There's no limit. I don't compose just music from Mali. I like to be open, to experiment.