Episode 275: Fatoumata Diawara


You would be hard-pressed to find an artist as passionate — or joyful — about their art than Fatoumata Diawara. It’s catharsis and happiness and medicine, all rolled into one, with songs that explore some of the darkest moments of the human experience inspired by the confessional style of the American blues, set to joyful rhythms emanating from West Africa. “When you stop crying, you decide two things: to kill yourself, or to survive,” the Malian musician explains, during our conversation. “And when you decide to survive, you must find things to help you survive. Music was mine.” Diawara is extremely candid during our half-hour-long chat, discussing her own hardships and those others have a tendency to confess to her. But she’s ever hopeful, for having discovered her reason for being put on this earth: bringing joy to others through the music making process.

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