It has been eight years since Oumou Sangaré, often called the greatest living female voice in African music, last released an album of new material and much has changed since then. The power of her voice and the potency of her message remain inviolable. Now with a new label, an all-new production team and a vital new set of songs, her latest album Mogoya (roughly translated as ‘people today’) represents an exciting new chapter in Oumou’s storied career.
While her sound remains deeply rooted deep in Malian tradition, this is Oumou as we have never heard her before. Recorded in Stockholm by Andreas Unge, and produced in Paris with the crack French production team A.L.B.E.R.T. (Vincent Taurelle, Ludovic Bruni and Vincent Taeger) known for their work with the likes of Air, Beck, and Franz Ferdinand, Mogoya is a record that both draws upon a rich musical heritage and leans towards the future.
Traditional African instruments such as the kamele n’goni (harp), karignan (metal scraper) and calabash (gourd used for percussion) are complimented by electric guitar, bass, keyboards and even synths. The legendary drummer Tony Allen, once Fela Kuti’s bandleader and the co-creator of Afrobeat, guests on drum kit.