International songstress Fatoumata Diawara plays NYC March 30

JORDANNAH ELIZABETH | 3/28/2019, 4:14 p.m.
We had the pleasure to speak via Skype with Malian musician Fatoumata Diawara during her busy tour schedule about her ...
Fatoumata Diawara Photo courtesy of artist

That was my decision, I wanted to sing in Bambara, and I was surprised at the reaction. People were coming to me and saying, “Why do you sing in your native language? We’re French. We don’t understand the meanings of your songs, but we could feel you. We feel connected to you.” That was interesting to me and I said, “Ok, this is what I should do.” I don’t need to sing in French or English, I have to connect with my native language.

AmNews: Do you feel like it has become a responsibility to connect with your audience or do you still keep it very personal?

Diawara: It’s very important, very necessary. Necessary in terms that when you see my audience, it’s so large. It’s so mixed. It is something very rare because most of the time, I come from Mali, and most of the time African music belongs to African audiences. Even in my generation, it’s like this. My audience is not like that. It’s really open. It’s getting bigger every day, everybody from all over the world. This is something I wasn’t expecting. It proved to me that it’s possible, and that’s huge. Music can connect so many people and bring peace. It’s a way to [share] a message—you can talk about women’s conditions, you can share anything that you want. It’s a huge responsibility.

For tickets, visit

For more information about Fatoumata, visit her official website at wwww.