Rokia Traoré – Beautiful Africa (2013)

Rokia Traoré - Beautiful Africa (2013)

Rokia Traoré is a Malian guitarist and singer/songwriter. Beautiful Africa is a beautiful folk-pop album, sung mostly in her native Bamana language, though there is also French (Melancolie; Beautiful Africa).

The album opener, Lalla, gives a good indication of the entire album, a simple but effective beat is joined in quick succession by an acoustic guitar and ngoni (a Malian instrument, a kind of lute), backing vocals and Traoré’s beautiful voice, wonderfully warm full, with an oh-so-slight gravel quality, but mostly smooth. The track, as most of the album, is in a celebratory mood, upbeat and joyousA track like Ka Moun Ke introduces a pretty sweet bassline to the mix driving the track forward, as also in Melancolie.

In contrast to much of the album, N’teri is a beautiful slow introspective track, with a sombre, slow beat, and subtle ngoni  melody, the music taking a backseat to Traoré’s beatifully sorrowful voice. Without knowledge of the language, I couldn’t tell you the context, but it feels like a griot tribute to the recently deceased.

A lovely album, a beautiful voice and a treat to listen to.

Favourite tracks: N’Teri, Kouma, Ka Moun Ke

Spotify link: Rokia Traoré – Beautiful Africa
Sneak peak: 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s