It’s eight years since Oumou Sangaré last released an album of new material and much has changed since we last heard from the greatest living female voice in African music.
The power of her voice and the potency of her message remain inviolable but with a new label, an all-new production team and a vital new set of songs, her latest album Mogoya (it translates roughly as ‘people today’) represent an exciting new chapter in Oumou Sangaré’s storied career.
While her sound remains rooted deep in the continuity of Malian tradition, at the same time this is Oumou as we have never heard her before. Stylish, elegant, feisty and charismatic with a soulful, soaring voice, Sangaré has become an emblem for African womanhood and makes a striking role model. She has used her songs to campaign fearlessly to improve the position of women in Mali and to oppose polygamy, child marriage and a system that defines a ‘good wife’ as a submissive woman. “Ever since I was a kid, I promised myself that one day I will scream about this problem to the whole world,” she says. “Women have a hard time in Africa. We have no voice; our men do all our talking for us,” Oumou says. “My role is to speak directly to women both through my songs and setting an example and showing them that they can make their own decisions”. She was the first one who started to speak out about correcting the inequalities and injustice that women still endure in Mali.
»Mali’s famed singer Oumou Sangaré is stronger than ever on “Yere Faga”« The FADER
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