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Rokia Traoré

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Customer Reviews

Fantastic Food!

Talk about music been food for the soul. This album is absolutely fantastic and I find it extremely uplifting.

Songlines Music Awards 2009 Winner: Best Artist

Effortlessly stylish and compelling singer-songwriter and musician Rokia Traoré is back with her first release since her 2003 hit, Bowmboi, the album which introduced us to modern Malian music by a new generation of musicians eager to continue with traditions, yet still sounding very much based in the 21st century. From the sparse, quivering tones of the opening track 'Dounia' to the playful steel drum melody of the final 'A Ou Ni Sou', Rokia proves that she is still one of the continent's finest talents, able to push her musical ideas to the limit without losing the listener along the way. While the album initially gives a no-frills, rather cool, impression, it is by no means without expression. A Gretsch guitar features on the first tracks, climbing across the scales with Rokia's voice like a couple of old friends on an autumn walk, while a simple beat gives it depth. With 'Zen', a song about having the courage to do nothing, the beat picks up alongside spiky chords and an unpredictable melody. This completely original, sometimes challenging sound is something that pops up throughout the ten tracks, reminding us that this lady is doing exactly what she thinks is funky. There's no desert blues, there's no praise singing; this is just Rokia doing what she does. And she does it fantastically well. Subtle instrumentation and delicate rhythm changes - and above all that haunting voice - get her message across without ever having to shout. This is quite simply extraordinary, original music. (c) Rose Skelton, orginally published in the October 2008 issue of Songlines magazine


Born: 26 January 1974 in Beledougou, Mali

Genre: World

Years Active: '00s

Rokia Traore's family was both a blessing and a curse for her musical career. Her father was a diplomat and she spent her childhood travelling over several continents, to Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, and France. There she was exposed to a variety of styles of music, from classical, jazz, and pop to Indian traditional composition. However, her family was also part of Mali's nobility, which has traditional caste prohibitions against their members making music. For her countryman Salif Keita, who...
Full bio
Tchamantché, Rokia Traoré
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  • £8.99
  • Genres: World, Music, Afro-Pop
  • Released: 05 September 2008

Customer Ratings