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iTunes Review

2009’s Seya is Malian singer Oumou Sangare's first release in over five years. Sangare is known for her wonderful vocals, and for mixing traditional instruments — kamele n’goni (a harp) and balafon (a tuned percussion instrument) — with electric guitar, violin, horns, bass, and drums. The excellent Seya, which means “joy” in Wassoulou (Sangare’s native tongue), does not disappoint: the various elements merge to create powerful, distinctive music. Lyrically, Sangare addresses a number of contemporary social problems, particularly women’s issues. “Sounsoumba” opens with the plinks of a balafon rubbing up against an electric rhythm guitar, and off we go into Sangare’s exciting sound-world. “Iyo Djeli” includes two legendary horn players from James Brown’s band, saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis and trombonist Fred Wesley, veterans who bring added punch to any groove. “Mogo Kele,” one of the album’s standouts, is a slow-tempo keeper that features a rich array of acoustic colors, and the great Nigerian drummer Tony Allen drives the band on “Koroko,” Seya’s simmering closer.

Customer Reviews

Style, Grace, COOL GROOVES Galore !!!

First album of new material in more than 5 years. So many original songs, fewer traditional songs but VERY cool arrangements. Try Donso for a a taste of the new sound where Oumou utilizes a male chorus for the background singing, combined with some great guitar work. Mogo Kele (alt version) is a great example of new world studio saavy and old world instrumentation being combined more UNREAL guitar work on this song. Try Seya, Koroko and Mogo Kele also. Don't miss this recording.


I saw Oumou live in Chicago and was completely blown away. After the concert I bought this CD at her booth. It captures well the excitement and energy of her live show. I've listened to this probably 40 or 50 times and I'm always amazed, not just by Oumou, but also her amazing band. Highly recommended!


The best produced ngoni music to date!!! Thank you ... Malian musicians...respect and love


Born: 1968 in Bamako, Mali

Genre: World

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

In 1990, Wassoulou singer Sangare became a superstar in West Africa with Moussolou, which sold an astonishing 250,000 copies (many more were likely pirated). She received much of her attention for writing and singing lyrics that specifically addressed concerns of women in modern West African society, such as the conflict between marriage and personal freedom; not a shocking subject in the Western world, perhaps, but a pioneering one for the popular music of the region. Western listeners who can't...
Full Bio
Seya, Oumou Sangaré
View In iTunes
  • $10.99
  • Genres: World, Music, Afro-Pop, Africa
  • Released: Jun 09, 2009

Customer Ratings

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