Aminata Wassidjé Traoré has been a rising music star since a couple of years now. It’s just a logical consequence that she now starts to receive the international attention that her music deserves. For those outside Mali, you might have listened to her voice on the legendary Sahelsounds Mixtape ‘Music on Saharan Cellphones Vol.1‘ which featured her track ‘Tamala‘ or ‘La Paix‘, her collabo with Dirtmusic.
‘Tamala‘, her (self-produced) debut LP, has been first released by Ghanaian label Akwaaba & Studio Mali, a Bamako based label in 2013 and now again by Glitterbeat Records in March 2014. Traoré’s album is a neo-traditional album which successfully fuses Traorés acoustics that are deeply rooted in Mali’s cultural landscape with modern musical arrangements.
One would highly underestimate the quality of her music if one would only judge it by sound and melody. Her lyrics carry deep and highly moral messages that gives us a picture about Traoré’s worldview and the values that she wants to promote with her music: Tolerance, Peace, Honesty and Family. Listen here to the album and also read the meanings of the songs below the soundcloud.
A few words about the songs (taken from Akwaaba):
Tamala: The history of the Maiga and Toure families, and how they solved their conflicts to live in peace. It tells the story of how the two families developed their “cousinage,” or how they became cousins.
Afrique: This is a song calling for unity among Africans, to work together not against each other, for Peace and progress.
Un Jour: About a couple who are in love, but the young woman’s parents don’t want them to be together. The young man has lots of questions and worries, and the young women assures him that one day it will all work out and they will be together.
Tamasheq: In Diré we have everything. There are many different ethnic groups in Dire. There are great things in Dire, great teachers, healers and wonderful families. Young people need to realize this and stay there.
Alfouleila: Always be straightforward with people. If you are honest and upfront, you will have everything you need. Everything comes in it’s time, to people who are good and faithful.
Senkou: Sabotage. Making fun of someone who has less is wrong, remember, it is God who gives and it is God who takes it away.
Takamba: The North needs so many things. The people who are causing problems are from the North. Why are they causing problems wrecking their country. There are no roads. The north is underdeveloped. The north needs everything, everything that was started has been stopped.
Do Fa Fa: This is a song about having a strong family and the relationships between brothers and sisters. Family members should always be there for each other. Brothers and Sisters should always help solve each others’ problems.