African Artists That You Need to Know About

When it comes to music, most of us rely on music channels, radio stations, or end up raiding our friend’s playlist to stay updated with the latest hits. But there are a few people who love to scavenge the internet and hunt for new artists, only to expose themselves to new music. By new, we don’t mean just the latest music, but the music of many independent or lesser known artists, that was simply lying there on the internet, waiting for you to discover it.

So, to broaden your music collection, we bring you a list of some of the best artists from Mali, Africa whose talent is unfortunately not known much in this side of the world. And the best part about these artists is that their music is a good blend of modern and traditional beats that allows many people to relate to their music.

Read on to find out about these artists.

Ali Farka Toure
Rolling Stones had listed him as one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all times. Ali was a multi-instrumentalist, who was famous for playing blues, Malian folk, and folk music. He had also won two Grammy Awards in his career.

Songhoy Blues
Here’s an exuberant band that plays desert blues music. Their music will help you kick-start any dull day.

Fatoumata Diawara
This Malian actress who currently lives in France is also known for her spell-binding voice. She is one of the influential musicians in Africa.

Tinariwen
This Grammy Award-winning band is from the Sahara desert region of northern Mali. Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, had formed this band, and they mainly play a mix of folk, blues, rock, and Tichumaren music.

Rokia Traoré
Victoires de la Musique award-winning singer is known for her powerful and emotional voice. When she makes music, she loves to experiment with different themes yet keeps the essence of her roots alive.

Amadou et Mariam
This musical duo was nominated in the Best Contemporary World Music Album category at the 52nd Grammy Awards. Their music has traditional Mali sounds, to which they have added a twist by including instruments such as Indian tabla, guitars, Syrian violin, Cuban trumpets, Egyptian ney, and so on.

Salif Keita
The afro-pop singer and songwriter, who was exiled by his family and shunned by the Mandinka community because of his albinism, has been recognized as the Golden Voice of Africa. Listen to his soulful music to know what we are talking about.

Oumou Sangaré
Referred to as the Songbird of Wassoulou, her music takes its inspiration from the music and traditional dances of Wassoulou. Her songs are based on social issues mainly revolving around women’s status in society. She, too, is a Grammy Award winner.

If you have enjoyed listening to these artists and know of any such artists, do let us know! 

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