Check out the latest incredible album by Malian legend Rokia Traore. Read more here.
Rokia Traoré has always been an incredible artist, with a huge array of talents, and diversity in her music. Although she was born in Mali, as the daughter of a diplomat she lived all over the world as a child. After a series of successful and critically acclaimed albums, scoring an adaptation of Shakespeare's “Othello”, and awards, Rokia Traoré has released a new album “Beautiful Africa”.
It is essentially a rock album, but filtered through a Malian prism, featuring West African rhythms and traditional instruments. The latest work has been produced by John Parish, who has worked with greats such as “Sparklehorse”, which gives the album a distinct flow. The album is a melange of languages, musical traditions, and cultures.
Songs such as “Melancolie” are sung in French, while the music is an infusion of blues and West African griot music (extremely rare for a noble Bamana woman like herself to play).
Much like many other recent albums from Mali, she references the tragic events that tore Mali apart early last year, which forced her to send her son to live in France. Her title track “Beautiful Africa” demonstrates both her pain, and hope in the line “My faith does not know failure, I love you, beautiful Africa”. This is a message that we find again and again in Malian music; a message of optimism, hope, and a belief that peace will one day be restored.
Purchase the album here.