Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara (aka Fatou) was born in 1982 in Côte d’Ivoire . As a child she became a member of her father’s dance troupe and was a popular performer of the wildly flailing didadi dance from Wassoulou, her ancestral home in western Mali. Diawara moved to France to pursue acting but later took up the guitar and began composing her own material, writing songs that blend Wassalou traditions of Southern Mali with international influences.
Noted for her “sensuous voice,” she has performed and recorded with Oumou Sangaré, AfroCubism, Dee Dee Bridgewater (on Red Earth: A Malian Journey), and the Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, as well as Paul McCartney, Baaba Maal and Damon Albarn as a part of Africa Express.
Fatoumata spent 2013 touring the world, culminating in a landmark performance at Glastonbury 2013. Alongside many European gigs her schedule has taken her to South America and Asia, as well as on multiple trips to the US, where in September she performed as part of the Clinton Global Initiative alongside The Roots in New York.
After touring all around the world for 3 years Fatou starred in the multi-awarded movie Timbuktu. She was nominated for the best movie song of 2014 for her interpretation of the title song Timbuktu. The movie was nominated for an Oscar at the 2015 Academy Awards ceremony.
In December 2014 Fatou was nominated “ Chevalier de L’ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French government, one of the highest French cultural distinctions.
From July 2014 to end of 2015 she toured all over Europe with Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca and released the record ‘At Home’ in April 2015 recorded live in Marciac on Jazz label Jazz Village.
In 2018 she released the album ‘Fenfo’ – a record that is both boldly experimental yet respectful of her roots, that defines Fatou as the voice of young African womanhood – proud of her heritage but with a vision that looks confidently to the future and a message that is universal.