Fenfo, the second album by Fatoumata Diawara, came out in spring 2018. Fatoumata was Abderrahmane Sissako's favourite actress in the film Timbuktu and also played the witch in the theatre adaptation of Kirikou. She performed her first recording magic trick with Fatou (in 2011) in a minimalist and intimate afro folk vein. The album was critically-acclaimed, loved by listeners and turned people upside down. Then Fatoumata worked with Damon Albarn (Africa Express), Afrocubism, Tony Allen, Bobby Womack, Herbie Hancock and Hindi Zahra. She brought artists together for a peace song in Mali (Malikô) then wrote an anti-slavery track (Djonya) with the Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca. Fatoumata Diawara made a guest appearance on Matthieu Chedid's latest album, Lamomali. And now she's back, more radiant and freer than ever, with Fenfo ("something to say" in Bambara) showcasing every aspect of her powerful and moving voice. Her western collusions melt into Wassoulou's roots, Vincent Ségal's cello on the poignant Don Do, Matthieu Chedid's guitar who goes funky on Negue Negue, pop on Bonya and reggae on Fenfo for her. He also co-produced the album recorded in Mali, Burkina Faso, Barcelona and Paris. Bewitching. More than ever.
Line-up : Fatoumata Diawara (v, g), Yacouba Kone (g), Arecio Smith (k), Sekou Bah (b), Jean Baptiste Gbadoe (dms)
Crédit photo : © A. Muluneh