Hailed as one of the most vital standard-bearers of modern African music, singer, songwriter, and guitarist Fatoumata Diawara is taking her artistry
to fresh and thrilling heights. Boldly experimental yet respectful of her Malian roots, Fatoumataʼs music defines her as the voice of young African
womanhood – proud of her heritage but with a vision that looks confidently to the future. Her live performances “scream with energy” (NPR), her
stage presence both “hypnotic” and “captivating” (Rolling Stone).
With her new albumLondon Ko, Fatoumata Diawara continues to reinvent traditional African music, after taking us back to her Mandinka roots. Her
last album, Fenfo, saw her really begin to invent her own style, it earned her nominations at the Grammy Awards and Victoires de la Musique in 2019.
Still rewriting the rules, Fatou plunges us back into her eclectic, avant-garde universe. With the different colours she brings to her music (afrobeat, jazz, pop, electro and even hip hop), it is impossible to put London Ko into any one box. “I put all my love, my soul and my body into the creative process for this album.” Sharper than ever with her words, she strikes a perfect balance between synthetic sounds and traditional Malian rhythms. A central figure in the English music world and a real connoisseur of African music, Damon Albarn co-produced the album, and features on no fewer than six tracks.
As a singer, actress, songwriter, and activist, Fatoumata has shared her message and experience with audiences all over the world. With performances at Glastonbury and other major festivals, Fatoumata has also worked with some of the biggest names in contemporary music. She recorded with Bobby Womack and Herbie Hancock; assembled a West African super-group featuring Amadou & Mariam, Oumou Sangaré, and Toumani Diabaté to record a song calling for peace in her troubled homeland; climbed aboard Damon Albarnʼs star-studded Africa Express, which culminated in her sharing a stage with Sir Paul McCartney; toured and collaborated with Gorillaz on the track “Désolé” from their 2020 album; and performed with countless other esteemed musicians such as Omara Portuondo, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Habib Koité, Roberto Fonseca, and Rokia Traoré. In fact, it was fellow Malian songstress Rokia Traoré who encouraged Fatoumata to pick up a guitar, a suggestion that opened the door to her career in music.