Tamala by Aminata Wassidjé Traoré


  • Limited Edition LP – 12″ Vinyl
    Heavyweight 180gm vinyl in a high quality gatefold sleeve.
    17.75 EUR


side A:
01. Afrique
02. Alfouleila
03. Tamasheq
04. Takamba

side B:
01. Tamala
02. Un Jour
03. Senkou
04. Yerma Do Fafa

Aminata Wassidjé Traoré is a rising voice in Mali. Tamala is her debut album, recorded in Bamako and released in 2009. Born in Diré, near the fabled city of Timbuktu, Aminata was raised within northern Mali’s rich cultural brew. From an ethnic Songhai family, Aminata started singing as a young child. Her music, like the environment that surrounded her growing up, incorporates various cultures and traditions. On Tamala, an album she self-produced with the help of the artist Mamadou Kelly and arranger Baba Simaga, she sings in Songhai and Tamasheq.

While northern Mali still suffers the repercussions of religious and ethnic warfare, Tamala sends a message of reconciliation and inclusion. Aminata believes people can work together for a solution, and sees the vast potential of Mali’s diverse north. Moving to the Southern capital of Bamako not only enabled her to develop as a musician, backing up well known artists like Baba Salah, Khaira Arby and Afel Bocoum, it also enhanced her vision of a diverse and connected Mali.

Tamala is considered a neo-traditional album in the context of the Malian music scene: it is rooted in northern folk musical traditions, but arranged in a contemporary way and mixes drum programming and synthesizers with the banjo-like n’goni and the sokou, a one-string violin. Hints of Hip Hop and electronic dance music sit side by side with the pentatonic sounds of the interior Niger delta.

Afropop Worldwide wrote this about Tamala:

“And then there’s the music—in a word, sublimesolos burst forth with forthright clarity and consistent eloquence. Western sounds and production techniques have been appropriated here, but the melodic phrasing, rhythms and modalities in the music are 100% local.”

In 2013, Aminata began a collaboration with Glitterbeat Records when she appeared on the album Troubles by the Austrailian/American group Dirtmusic. The Guardian (UK) noted in their enthusiastic review of the album that »La Paix, an impassioned cry against the terrorist invasion of Mali, is voiced thrillingly by Aminata Traore.”

Glitterbeat Records is releasing Tamala in a limited vinyl version of 1,000. It will be pressed on 180g vinyl with a gatefold sleeve. The album is coming out in cooperation with Studio Mali, a Bamako based label.

A few words about the songs:

Afrique: This is a song calling for unity among Africans, to work together not against each other, for Peace and progress.

Alfouleila: Always be straightforward with people. If you are honest and upfront, you will have everything you need. Everything comes in it’s time, to people who are good and faithful.

Tamasheq: In Diré we have everything. There are many different ethnic groups in Dire. There are great things in Dire, great teachers, healers and wonderful families. Young people need to realize this and stay there.

Takamba: The North needs so many things. The people who are causing problems are from the North. Why are they causing problems wrecking their country. There are no roads. The north is underdeveloped. The north needs everything, everything that was started has been stopped.

Tamala: The history of the Maiga and Toure families, and how they solved their conflicts to live in peace. It tells the story of how the two families developed their “cousinage,” or how they became cousins.

Un Jour:  About a couple who are in love, but the young woman’s parents don’t want them to be together. The young man has lots of questions and worries, and the young women assures him that one day it will all work out and they will be together.

Senkou: Sabotage. Making fun of someone who has less is wrong, remember, it is God who gives and it is God who takes it away.

Yerma Do Fafa: This is a song about having a strong family and the relationships between brothers and sisters. Family members should always be there for each other. Brothers and Sisters should always help solve each others’ problems