FATOUMATA DIAWARA (Mali)
Fatoumata Diawara the acclaimed Malian singer-songwriter and actress is coming to Tromsø!
Diawara began her career as an actress in theatre and in film, including Genesis (1999), Sia, The Dream of the Python (2001) and Timbuktu (2014). She later launched a career in music, collaborating with numerous artists and releasing three studio albums beginning with 2011 debut Fatou. Diawara’s music combines traditional Wassoulou with international styles.
She received two nominations at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards for Best World Music Album for her album Fenfo and Best Dance Recording for “Ultimatum” in which she was featured with the English band Disclosure.
Diawara was born in the Ivory Coast to Malian parents. As an adolescent, she was sent back to their native Bamako in Mali to be raised by an aunt. When she was eighteen, Diawara moved to France to pursue acting. She briefly returned to Mali for a film role, but fled back to Paris to avoid being coerced into marriage by her family.
Diawara later took up the guitar and began composing her own material, writing songs that blend Wassoulou traditions of southern Mali with international influences. She has said that she is “the first female solo electric guitar player in Mali.
In September 2012 saw her board the Africa Express Train with Damon Albarn, Rokia Traoré, Baaba Maal, Amadou & Mariam, Nicolas Jaar, and the Noisettes, amongst many others. The show culminated in a 4.5k venue in Kings Cross where Fatoumata performed with Paul McCartney.
Diawara has spent years touring the world, with a landmark performance for the English-speaking public at the 2013 Glastonbury Festival. Alongside many European gigs, her schedule has taken her to South America, Asia and Australia, as well as on multiple trips to the US, where in September 2013 she performed as part of the Clinton Global Initiative alongside The Roots in New York. Since mid-2014 she has collaborated with Roberto Fonseca, with numerous live performances and a joint live album, At Home – Live in Marciac, along the way. In 2014 she also performed with Mayra Andrade and Omara Portuondo. February 2015 saw her first live concert as an established international star in Mali, her home country, Festival Sur Le Niger in Ségou, where she shared the stage once again with her long-time friend and mentor, Oumou Sangaré, Bassekou Kouyate, and many other domestic Malian acts.
Diawara was featured in the 2020 Gorillaz single “Désolé”, which later appeared on their album Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez. She performed a Tiny Desk home concert in February 2022.
It’s almost impossible to believe that Fatoumata Diawara it’s going to stand on one of our biggest stages in our small Tromsø.