fatoumata diawara
Photo by C Brandon/Redferns

Fatoumata Diawara at Womad Festival July 28, 2022 in England.

The celebrated Malian artist will release a fuller body of work in the Spring of 2023.


Renowned Grammy-nominated Malian singer, songwriter, guitarist, and actress Fatoumata Diawara just debuted a single called "Nsera" featuring Damon Albarn (Gorillaz/Blur). The single was released along with a vibrant Gregory Ohrel-directed video.Diawara and Albarn have collaborated in the past on Albarn's Rocket Juice & The Moon.

"Nsera" is a record from Diawara's upcoming album, which will be released in the Spring of 2023. While discussing the record, Diawara stated that "Nsera" means "destination" in Bambara, the indigenous language of her home country, Mali. Diawara mentions that the mantra behind the song is "human relationships, hospitality, and generosity."

"Nsera" was jointly co-written and co-produced by Diawara with Albarn. Albarn sings and plays keyboards on the track in a way that adds serenity and melancholy to the song's ambiance.

Diawara officially released her debut album Fatou in 2011, which featured guest performances from legendary musicians John Paul Jones, Tony Allen, and Toumani Diabaté. Before her music debut, she had created a career for herself in theater and film but later delved into music.

Diawara has crafted a vibrant career for herself so far, with songs that carry significant messages and rhythm. For example, one of her albums, Fenfo, was intricately curated from sessions in Barcelona, Burkina Faso, Bamako, Paris, and Minneapolis while she was touring. Over the years, the Malian singer has become renowned for her refreshing energy on stage and her ability to breathe new life into songs during her performances.

Ten years ago, on September 2012, Diawara was part of a campaign called "30 Songs / 30 Days," an initiative that was started to support Half the Sky, a multi-platform media project inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's book.

During the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, she received two nominations for Best World Music Album. One nomination was for her renowned 2018 album Fenfo, and the other was for Best Dance Recording for "Ultimatum," which featured electronic music duo Disclosure.

Watch the riveting music video for Diawara's "Nsera" below.

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