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iTunes Review

With three exquisite albums of gently lilting afro-pop under her belt Rokia Traore stands as one of the most accomplished, and at the same time uncharacteristic, Malian performers to gain the attention of an international audience in recent decades. While she was raised in the same Bamana tribe that produced such famed Malian virtuosos as Baboucar Traore and Toumani Diabate, the eclectic, genre-defying pop of albums like Wanita bears little resemblance to these artists’ stolid traditionalism. Traore’s fourth full-length, Tchamantché, sees her borrowing extensively from the lithe, guitar-led melodies and tricky syncopation of Malian Bajourou music, but numbers like “Kounandi,” with its keening vocals and “Dianfa” with its painterly splashes of unrestrained electric guitar, invoke Algerian and Moroccan pop, while Traore’s surprisingly straightforward rendition of Billie Holiday’s “The Man I Love” demonstrates a deep understanding of American Jazz. Like all Traore albums, Tchamantché is filled with quietly virtuosic, deeply unpretentious music that partakes from the best of both African and Western musical traditions.

Customer Reviews


It's impossible to listen to these songs and not be moved. Sung partly in her native Malian tongue and French, with a single foray into English for The Man I Love, this is music that is powerful and ethereally beautiful at the same time. Whether you're unfamiliar with African music or not, this music is extremely melodic and very accessible to ears used to Western music. Side Note: For some reason, iTunes currently has this album separated from her previous ones. Do a search on Mouneïssa, Wanita, or Bowmboï to find three of her earlier albums, also worth a listen.

Simply Beautiful

I don't understand the words to most of these songs, but it's sooo moving. Rokia manages to drip her voice all around you... and melt away everything else. The more I listen to it, the more I like it, and it was 5 stars the first listen.


Astounding music and such a beautiful voice. I do not understand the words to most of the songs (except for "the Man I Love"), but I can't stop listening. I also cannot get enough of "Dounia". The music in this song is so rich & deep. Get this song if you do not get anything else.


Born: January 26, 1974 in Beledougou, Mali

Genre: World

Years Active: '00s, '10s

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 traveling several continents -- 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 its members making music. For her countryman Salif Keita, who was a member...
Full Bio
Tchamantché, Rokia Traoré
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: World, Music, Afro-Pop
  • Released: Sep 05, 2008

Customer Ratings

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