Malian diva delivers a modernised version of the traditional, rural music of the enigmatic and mysterious Wassoulou hunters with a funk-driven pulse.
The Malian singer Oumou Sangaré is a diva with a status like Mercedes Sosa in Latin America and Oum Kalsoum in the Maghreb world. Oumou Sangare draws deep from the wealth of musical traditions of southern Mali. She comments on all aspects of life in her country, especially the problems that women face on a daily basis because of polygamy, but also on the sensuality of young love, on the pain of exile, on the need to cultivate the land, and on the frailty of human life. Some of her songs use metaphor and irony; others are more direct. They are spirited expressions of her own philosophy and wisdom, born from her experience growing up in a poor family in Bamako and being catapulted to stardom aged only 21. And her idiom is the hauntingly beautiful home-grown music that has become her trademark: a slightly modernized version of the traditional, rural music of the enigmatic and mysterious Wassoulou hunters, delivered with a funk-driven pulse.