Oumou Sangaré

Genres: World
Decades: 1990s 2000s


1968, Bamako, Mali. One of the new generation of female voices in Malian music, Sangaré made her first public appearance at the age of six at the Omnisports Stadium Hall in Bamako, encouraged by her mother, a sogoninkun singer who performed at weddings and rituals. She continued to sing through the rest of her adolescence and in 1986 she was recruited to the Malian traditional group Djoliba Percussions for their European tour (which included a celebrated performance in London). She made her solo recorded debut in 1989 after travelling to Abidjan. There she worked with producer/promoter Ibrahima Sylla at his JBZ studio, producing the cassette album Djama Kaissoumou. Sales of 200, 000 copies attested to her dramatic arrival on the Malian music scene, though many of these came from bootleg sales for which she received no recompense. Lyrics addressed topics including love, work, tradition and the role of women in West African society. The most popular track from...

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