Nahawa Doumbia is one of the most popular singers of the Wassoulou region in South Mali. She speaks to the younger generation of West Africa through her lyrics about love, the position of women in society, and the situation of African refugees in France.
Doumbia is born and raised in Manankoro, near Bougouni, the most important city in the Wassoulou region. This area is well known for generating some of the best female singers in Mali, including Oumou Sangaré. She first became popular in Mali after the release of her debut album in 1981, and later she was internationally renowned. In 2011 blogger and ethnomusicologist Brian Shimkovitz chose Nahawa’s early tape “La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol 3” to become the first official release on his new Awesome Tapes From Africa label, receiving rave reviews worldwide. In September 2019, Doumbia’s 1981 debut album “La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol 1” followed on the same label. Sparsely orchestrated with acoustic guitar and vocals, it is full of youthful power and imagination, and deeply rooted in the Wassoulou tradition.
- Nahawa Doumbia : voice
- N’Gou Bagayoko : guitar
- Drissa Sidibe : ngoni