Audio

Toumani Diabaté & Oumou Sangaré Feature In Béla Fleck's Expansive 'Throw Down Your Heart' Sessions

Béla Fleck explores the roots of the banjo across West Africa.

World-renowned banjoist Béla Fleck shared the Throw Down Your Heart: The Complete Africa Sessions earlier this year. The expansive 3-disc collection includes a new duo album from Béla Fleck and kora master Toumani Diabaté, titled The Ripple Effect.

Today, we're getting a first look at a track-by-track break down of some of the songs from Throw Down Your Heart—which explores the roots of the banjo in West Africaand The Ripple Effect. Artists like Mali's Oumou Sangaré, Tanzania's Anania Ngoliga, Madagascar's D'Gary and Uganda's Nakisenyi Women's Group also feature on the release.

"Throw Down Your Heart documents my trip to Africa to interact with great acoustic musicians, and looks into the roots of the banjo, which originated in West Africa and came to the Americas with the slaves," says Béla Fleck. "The title references the prisoners being transported to the slave ships, who 'threw down their hearts' when they realized they'd never see their homes again."

Keep reading... Show less
Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

These Remixes of Oumou Sangaré Are Just What You Need For The New Month

Krizbeatz and PEDRO re-work two tracks from the Malian singer's last album. It's just a taste of the fully updated Mogoya Remixed, which drops digitally March 2 via Nø Førmat!

The Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Here are the best songs that came across our desks this week featuring Kendrick, Wizkid, Oumou Sangare and more.

Oumou Sangaré and Tony Allen's New Video For 'Yere Faga' Will Give You Life

Grammy Award-winning Malian singer Oumou Sangaré and Tony Allen share a message of strength in the face of suicide and depression.

popular.

Video: Boddhi Satva 'Ngari Konon' ft. Oumou Sangare

Watch Boddhi Satva's Bamako-shot music video for his new single featuring Oumou Sangare.