Magazine article New Internationalist

Mogoya

Magazine article New Internationalist

Mogoya

Article excerpt

Mogoya

by Oumou Sangaré

(No Format! NF36, CD and NF361 LP, digital)

Singer, musician, entrepreneur: Oumou Sangaré is truly a powerhouse of energy among African women. Mali's 'Songbird of Wassoulou', as she's often called, was brought up surrounded by traditional music: Sangaré's mother was a ceremonial singer who was much in demand, until depression struck when her husband abandoned the family, and the young girl - who had been following in her mother's musical lineage - stepped up as the breadwinner.

The effect of Sangaré's young immersion in Malian music and the need to grow up is written through her mature music and in Mogoya ('People Today'), her first album since 2012. Instruments such as calabash, karignan (metal scrapers) and kamele n'goni (harp) are employed alongside keyboards, drums (courtesy of Tony Allen, once Fela Kuti's mighty bandleader) and some deliberately underplayed electric guitars and synth. …

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