Nahawa Doumbia - La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol. 1

Nahawa Doumbia - La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol. 1

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Nahawa Doumbia is one of Mali's defining vocalists of the last four decades. Her work journeys through progressive stages of musical evolution and sonic vogues, making it hard to summarise or even comprehend. She's played a part in popular music since the late ‘70s, as her version of Wassoulou music developed from vocals-and-guitar duo into full-scale touring bands packing a bombastic, electrified punch.

La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol 1 looks back to the beginning of Doumbia’s long career, when her voice was remarkably strong yet still developing. This was before she added bass and percussion, and finally the electric guitar and synths for which she became known in recent years.

Released in 1981 by the excellent Côte d’Ivoire-based AS Records, the singer was barely 20 years old when it was recorded. She was accompanied by her future husband N’Gou Bagayoko on acoustic guitar, whose style echoes the nimble runs of traditional kamele n’goni players. The stark simplicity of this highly intimate recording (the audible room acoustics, the occasionally in-the-red vocals) do not obscure the mature strength of her voice. On Vol 1Doumbia performs her songs with the tenacity and hunger of a young artist on the cusp.


1. Kourouni 
2. Tou Dibile 
3. Tjefouroule 
4. Djankonia 
5. Nianimanjougou 
6. Sokono Woulouni

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