Fatoumata Diawara (a.k.a. Fatou) was born of Malian parents in the Ivory Coast in 1982. As a child she became a member of her father’s dance troupe and was a popular performer of the wildly flailing didadi dance from Wassoulou, her ancestral home in western Mali. She was an energetic and headstrong girl and at the age of 12 her refusal to go to school prompted her parents to send her to live and be disciplined by an aunt in Bamako. She was not to see her parents again for more than a decade.
Her aunt was an actress, and a few years after arriving, Diawara found herself on a film set looking
Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Rokia Traoré's sixth album, Né So (Home), will be released by Nonesuch Records on February 12, 2016. The album was produced by John Parish (PJ Harvey, Tracy Chapman), who also produced her 2013 record, Beautiful Africa. Né So features guest performances by John Paul Jones, Toni Morrison, and Traoré's labelmate Devendra Banhart, along with Burkinabe drummer Moïse Ouattara, Ivorian bassist Matthieu N'guessan, long-time collaborator Malian ngoni player Mamah Diabaté, guitarists Rodriguez Vangama and Stefano Pilia, and backing vocalists Bule Mpania,