Fatoumata Diawara has become one of the most important representatives of modern African music. She recorded with Bobby Womack and Herbie Hancock, played Glastonbury as well as other major festivals, and toured with Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca. She formed a West African "supergroup" with Amadou and Mariam, Oumou Sangaré and Toumani Diabaté to record a peace song for Mali. She also boarded Damon Albarn's Africa Express, where she shared a stage with Sir Paul McCartney as a highlight. Nominated for two Grammy Awards and a Victoires de la Musique in 2019, awarded Best Female Artist at the Awards d'Afrique in 2020 and nominated for the AEAUSA in 2022 - with “Fenfo”, the follow-up album to her debut “Fatou” (2011), Fatoumata Diawara presented her entire musical diversity and received some of the most prestigious musical awards in the world. With the acumen of an African woman, she takes a critical look at controversial issues in today's society. Her sound is a perfect combination of electronic sounds, traditional melodies of the kora and n'goni, mandinka rhythms, and Fatou's distinctive voice.
As one of 11 children born to Malian parents in Ivory Coast, Diawara grew up in the ’90s in the Malian capital of Bamako. A celebrated child actor, Diawara starred in Dani Kouyaté’s critically acclaimed 2001 film Sia, The Dream of the Python. At age 19 she left home against the wishes of her family and joined the French street theater company Royale de Luxe, with whom she toured the world and began singing in the clubs and cafes of Paris. Diawara eventually found herself singing backing vocals for Dee Dee Bridgewater and Malian superstar Oumou Sangaré before signing with influential label World Circuit Records for her debut album.
Diawara broke out in 2011 with her debut album: “Fatou”, which featured guest performances from legendary musicians, such as John Paul Jones, Tony Allen and Toumani Diabaté. The record was hailed by Pitchfork as a “beguiling album” that “simply surrounds you with its atmosphere,” while The Guardian praised it as “an enjoyable, impressive set.” She later received two nominations at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards for Best World Music Album for her second album “Fenfo ” in 2018 and Best Dance Recording for “Ultimatum” in which she was featured with the English artist Disclosure.
The Grammy-nominated Malian Singer, songwriter, guitarist and actress released her highly anticipated new Album “London Ko” in May earlier this year via Wagram Music, collaborating with Damon Albarn from Gorillaz, who co-produced a number of tracks on the album.
With the new album, Diawara continues to reinvent traditional African music , combining her Mandinka roots with afrobeat, jazz, pop, electro nic and hip hop influences. That synthesis is reflected even in the album’s title combining the names of the Western metropolis of London with that of the Malian capital of Bamako.
Diawara notes , “ For me, London Ko means opening your mind. It also represents Damon Albarn’s connection to Malian music.” “London Ko”, a neologism coined by Diawara , represents an imagined continent bringing Europe and Africa together. W hile holding on to traditions, Diawara’s music gives a prophetic vision of what Africa can do. She invents an alternative space and time where it is possible to become master of your own destiny. Po sitioning herself as an actor in a future world, this album raises Diawara into the ranks of the great voices of Afrofuturism.
Fatoumata Diawara – Electric Guitar, Vocal, Looping
Jurandir Santana – Electric Guitar
Juan Finger – Bass
Willie Ombe – Drums
Fernando Tejero – Keyboards
+ 3 Crew: Tour Manager, PA Engineer, Monitor Engineer
Germany, Austria, Eastern Europe, Switzerland