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Aya Nakamura delivers pure shots of intimate emotion on Aya

French-Malian singer Aya Nakamura expresses an effortless but firm candor in her lyrics (she sings in French) that’s cleanly mirrored in her music. Her breakout single, 2018’s “Djadja,” was a relentless kiss-off; its unwavering dancehall beat and bubbling synth percussion provided the perfect backdrop to Nakamura’s exhausted yet ferocious vocals. This synchronicity permeates her third […]

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Malian guitarist Sidi Touré dials it back on an all-acoustic, digital-only album

Count Sidi Touré among the billions of people around the world who’ve had to revise their plans in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Malian singer-guitarist’s previous album, Toubalbero, was recorded live in Bamako’s best studio in order to best showcase his band’s vibrant combination of electric guitars and traditional regional instruments. But between the […]

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Malian singer and activist Oumou Sangaré strips songs from her electrifying 2017 album into their warmest, barest forms on Acoustic

In 2017, celebrated Malian Wassalou singer and activist Oumou Sangaré released Mogoya, her first new album since 2009. During the intervening eight years, she’d largely stepped away from the spotlight to pursue a variety of business ventures, including establishing agricultural projects, opening a hotel, and launching a new car, the Oum Sang. For Sangaré each […]