Diawara notes that “‘Bonya’ means respect. This is the most important value that we need to cultivate. I feel like a universal Mother, so I do not worry only for myself, I also worry for our children. They are the adults of the future. The message of the video is that with respect we can solve most of our differences and give back the same.”
The track is the newest single from Fenfo (Something to Say), Diawara’s second solo full-length release and first since 2011, out now via Shanachie Entertainment.
Fenfo continues to receive extensive critical acclaim:
“a beguiling talent on vocals and guitar”
“There’s sorrow, longing, worry, sympathy and determination in Ms. Diawara’s voice…[the ‘Nterini’ video] makes the desert a picturesque fashion backdrop for Ms. Diawara.”
“[‘Nterini’ is] a subtle, affecting reminder of the global migration crisis.”
“Fatoumata Diawara brings the music of Malawi to your ears with this gorgeous track [‘Nterini’]. I’m very into how the guitar doesn’t even sit on top of the music, it is just out in left field doing its own thing with total autonomy from the melody of the song.”
“Fenfo [is] a brilliant step forward for Fatoumata’s politically progressive, spiritually resilient Afropop.”
“wonderful and daring”
“[Diawara’s] voice and beats are powerful.”
“[‘Nterini’ is] a powerful new music video.”
“Diawara’s voice is strong yet light and effortless throughout. The production is phenomenal with a great balance between an electronic and acoustic sound, which gives it a modern touch.”
“One of the most dynamic voices in Afropop…9 out of 10”
In support of the album, Diawara returns to the U.S. for a trio of west coast performances this fall at the Joshua Tree Music Festival, Berkeley, CA’s Freight and Salvage and theMusical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. See below for additional information.
Diawara is also appearing at the Goalkeepers 2018 event on September 26 in New York City. Goalkeepers is a multiyear campaign dedicated to accelerating progress toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals), bringing together a new generation of activists and leaders from all corners of the world to discuss innovative solutions for attainment of the Global Goals. Goalkeepers 2018 will be livestreamed on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Facebook channel—http://www.facebook.com/gatesfoundation—and additional information can be found athttp://www.gatesfoundation.org/goalkeepers.
Upon announcing the Fenfo’s release NPR Music premiered the video for the first single “Nterini,” directed Ethiopian photographer and contemporary artist Aïda Muluneh, whose work recently appeared in the “Being: New Photography 2018” exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Watch the video at http://n.pr/2oXtqkT and share it via YouTube athttp://bit.ly/FatoumataDiawara_Nterini.
Diawara was also recently featured on the single “Ultimatum” by acclaimed British electronic duo Disclosure. “A few months ago, we stumbled across an amazing female vocalist named Fatoumata Diawara,” explains Disclosure. “While digging through her discography we discovered this beautiful sample and started messing around, having fun and experimenting with it. The result is our new song, ‘Ultimatum.’” Listen to/share the track athttps://disclosure.lnk.to/ULTMTMPR.
photo credit: Aïda Muluneh
Having performed with some of the biggest names in contemporary music, including Bobby Womack, Herbie Hancock, Roberto Fonseca, Amadou & Mariam, Oumou Sangaré, Toumani Diabaté, Flea and many more, Diawara most recently appeared at Carnegie Hall alongside David Crosby, Chris Thile, Snarky Puppy and others for an evening of topical protest music.Rolling Stone noted that, “the singer and guitarist, originally from Mali, provided two of the night’s most striking moments. Her ode to the power of women, ‘Mousso,’ sung in her native language, was hypnotic, and her captivating stage spins enhanced her anthemic ‘Unite.’”
Of the direction of her new music, Diawara comments, “I didn’t want to sing in English or French because I wanted to respect my African heritage. But I wanted a modern sound because that’s the world I live in. I’m a traditionalist but I need to experiment, too. You can keep your roots and influences but communicate them in a different style.” She continues, “Fenfo expresses how I feel and how I want to sound. It’s a record that says who I am.”
In addition to the Aïda Muluneh-directed “Nterini” video, the music on Fenfo is accompanied by Muluneh’s photography. Both the photo and video shoot took place in the remote Afar region of Ethiopia, to which archeologists have traced the origin of humanity.
Diawara broke out in 2011 with her debut album, Fatou, which featured guest performances from legendary musicians 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.”
About Fatoumata Diawara
One of 11 children born to Malian parents in Ivory Coast, she 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. In addition to Sia, Diawara’s film credits include the Academy Award-nominated Timbuktu, Morbayassa andClouds of Conakry, as well as the documentaries The Africa Express and Mali Blues.