Abby O’Neill | February 3, 2022
Fatoumata Diawara is a true multi-hyphenate – an esteemed Malian singer, songwriter and actress who left her home country at 19 to pursue her artistry in France. By way of Como, Italy, she delivers a riveting performance alongside her bandmates, many of whom have toured with her since 2018. The guitarist and keyboardist here – Yacouba Kone and Arecio Smith – both contributed to her Grammy-nominated album, Fenfo.
Rich, textured guitars complement her native Bambara vocals and bring a contemporary feel to her traditional Malian sound. These renditions are sonically disparate from her album versions. On “Kanou Dan Yen,” Fatoumata’s captivating and calming aura is as contagious as her electric smile. “Nterini” is a touching ode to her lover about how distance creates enormous heartache. Fatoumata ends her set on a vibrant note with “Negue Negue,” an uptempo Afrobeat jam with rambunctious rhythm and spirit.
“Kanou Dan Yen”
Fatoumata Diawara: vocals, guitar
Yacouba Kone: guitar
Juan Finger: bass
Arecio Smith: keys
Yves William Ombe Monkama: drums, percussion
Production: Montuno Producciones y Eventos, S.L
Audio Recording: Andrea Fognini & Davide Lasala at Edac Studio, Como Italy
Video Recording: OLO Creative Farm
Director of Photography: Paolo Volonté
Editing: Juan Gomez de Mello at Verano TV
Sound Engineers: Andrea Fognini, Davide Lasala
Mixing & Mastering: Tomi Pérez
TINY DESK TEAM
Producer: Abby O’Neill
Video Producer: Joshua Bryant
Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
Tiny Production Team: Bob Boilen, Bobby Carter, Kara Frame, Maia Stern, Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis
Executive Producer: Keith Jenkins
Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music’s Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It’s the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.