Miss Maawa
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Miss Maawa


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"Miss Maawa Bi Fourou - Roadmusic"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Miss Maawa Bi Fourou - roadmusic

Miss Maawa is a native of Africa's Ivory Coast. The daughter of singer Kagbe Sidibe is following in her mother's footsteps as one of the most prominent and well-known signers to come out of the Wassoulou genre of music. Wassoulou is a popular music form that infuses traditional African sounds and rhythms; it is generally song by women and deals with women's issues. The sound is similar in style to the African music that informed Paul Simon's classic Graceland album. Miss Maawa release her first album in 1999 at the age of 17 and added two more before reaching the age of 25. Some time has passed since the last album, but a chance meeting with Italian producer Marco Romano turned into a recording session and now Miss Maawa's latest album, Bi Fourou.
As a disclaimer I feel obliged to say that Miss Maawa is my first exposure to Wassoulou, but I have to add that there is something inordinately powerful and even catchy about Bi Fourou. The rhythmic structure alone is very different than in Western Music, creating an ever-evolving rhythmic structure to tantalize the mind while Miss Maawa's impassioned vocals wash over you. Dra is very much in this vein, essentially creating a sonic landscape over which Miss Maawa sings. Bi Fourou has a folky sound and a rhythm you'll want to dance to. Not knowing the language I can't speak to the lyrics and their meaning, but there is something uplifting about this tune that will inspire you to want to be a part of whatever it is. Sini Mori has a distinctive Afro-Pop sensibility that inspires the listener to move. Sonically, this is my favorite song on the disc even though it's not the most complicated of the tunes presented here.

Danse blends Miss Maawa's West African sound with a touch of European light Electronica/Dance; you can almost hear the roots of the next big musical form scratching for purchase here. Miss Maawa's engaging vocal style and penchant for arrangements with a solid grounding in Wassoulou but always open to touches of Western Influence may make her a perfect candidate to be at the vanguard of such a movement. Demisenw futhers this blending to include touches of Europop. The inherent rhythms of Miss Maawa's signature style are still here but an evolution has begun. Sina Musso heads back into traditional territory with a highly spirited featuring the soku prominently in support of the vocal line. Bi Fourou closes out with Diarabi, which sounds more like a Western New Age/Pop tune than anything else on the disc. Diarabi is a mellow song with a gorgeous theme that brings out the deep textures and hues in Miss Maawa's voice.

Miss Maawa is one of those rare performers where you don't have to understand the language she's singing in to feel the power of her lyrics. Maawa's voice is a deep and eloquent alto that's full of the spirit and soul of the generations that preceded her. You can almost here the distance of time in her voice as she pulls you in and wraps the melody around you like a net. Bi Fourou is a thing of abject beauty; a creation of earth and water and sky that you don't so much listen to as get to know. If I may paraphrase a popular expression, I don't know Wassoulou, but I know what I like.

Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Miss Maawa at http://mymondomix.com/roadmusic/missmaawa. At present I can identify no online resources to purchase Bi Fourou, although you may contact the artist through the website above.
Posted by Wildy at 5:20 AM 0 comments
Labels: Graceland, Ivory Coast, Kagbe Sidibe, Paul Simon, Wassoulou

- Wildy's world

"BI FOUROU new Release from MISS MAAWA"

Hier ist sie nun also, die lang erwartete neue CD der feurigsten Stimme aus Mali. Nach vier Jahren Pause präsentiert die juengste Wassoulou Diva ein neues Album "Bi Fourou" (produced by roadmusic). - Carlos Swenson

"Miss Maawa"

You make me want to come and visit Mali. Love love the sound you bring to this site. The rhythms and your voice are so soothing yet move me to want to dance. ~Robin

Here I am, for not the first time I am sure, saying give this one a listen. It's a mover, it's a groover plus fabulous vocals. ~Robin

really love your music ! I,m sitting here in Bangkok listening and loving it !! ~keith

Beautiful woman..beautiful voice...amazing music. I'm a fan.
This is amazingly good medicine. Whatever you've got, Miss Maawa can cure it. ~Vinejockey

Beautiful singing on top of what must be the most compelling beat ever. Thanks! ~mondog

Absolutely wonderful Miss Maawa. Thank you so much. ~Todd - Noisehead


2009 Bi Fourou
2004 An Ka Wo Wassoulou
2001 Allahu Akbar
1999 Laihilalla

Youtube videos:

1) Bi Bourou (new Release):

2) An ka wo wassoulou:




MISS MAAWA also known as "Miss Maawa Malaika" was born in 1982 in the Ivory Coast - West Africa. MISS MAAWA grew up with the music of her mother "Kagbe Sidibe", the first Diva of Wassoulou.

"Kagbe Sidibe" was one of the most important voices in the history of the Wassoulou music* in Mali and West Africa.
"Kagbe Sidibe has been enchanting audiences in her homeland since the 1960s, a former member of Mali's Ensemble National, Sidibé has continued to develop her unique approach to the sogoninkun style as a soloist. Accompanied by her band, which includes guitarists Bayini Koita and Amadou Bagayoko (Amadou and Mariam), Sidibe's vocals soar with irresistible passion" ~ Craig Harris, All Music Guide.

As soon as MISS MAAWA could stand on her own feet, her mother called her on stage with the words: "get up my "Malaika" (meaning "Angel" in arabic language) and sing for us".
At the age of 10 years MISS MAAWA "Malaika" was touring with her mother as backing vocalist. She did the backing vocals for all 4 studio albums of "Kagbe Sidibe" and for other well known Malian and Ivory Coast Singers, too. Unfortunately Kagbe Sidibe passed away after the release of the 4th Album "L' Adieu", before her incredible voice could be heard outside of the African continent.
MISS MAAWA is now the only heritage of KAGBE SIDIBE'S "BAGAGE ARTISTIQUE".

MISS MAAWA began her solo career at the age of 17 and released her first album in Ivory Coast "Laihilalla" (1999). Followed by her second album "Allahu Akbar" (2002) at the age of 20.
The 3rd album "An Ka Wo Wassoulou" (2004) was released in Mali and in the whole of West Africa with great success. "Allahu Akbar" and "An ka wo wassoulou", were both produced by "Maikano" (ex. producer of Kagbe Sidibe, Fela Kuti, Amadou and Mariam, and others.)

In March 2008 on the dusty streets of Laffiabougou/Bamako, Mali, MISS MAAWA encounters MARCO ROMANO, musician and producer of the international Band "Spacewalk" (roadmusic productions).
After a 12 hours Studio Recording-Session till the morning hours, in Paul Chandler's Studio in Bamako, Marco Romano and Miss Maawa decided to continue their musical adventure....

And now 5 years after her last release, MISS MAAWA'S new long awaited album "Bi Fourou" is available for her fans in Africa/Europe and for World Music listeners worldwide.
This new album was recorded in Salif Keita's studio Moffou in Bamako (recorded and mixed by Abou Cisse). Well known musicians from the Bamako music scene have been part of this last album; as Vieux Pare (Arrangement and all round musician), Kassim Sidibe (Oumou Sangare, Ramata Diakite etc.), Zou Tereta (Oumou Sangare), Sherif Soumano (Didi Bridgewater, Tikken Jah Fakoli) and as the only european Marco Romano (Cherry Bomb, Spacewalk).

The Album will be released in March 2009 in Mali and other West African countries.

It's time now to give MISS MAAWA'S unique voice and style the chance to be heard outside Africa. MISS'S stage presence and dance performance are well known and highly apreciated in Mali and Ivory Coast.

We will be glad to present this upcoming new voice for the first time hopefully soon in Europe and the USA.

We are also looking for an international Distribution of MISS MAAWA'S brand new album "Bi Fourou" outside Africa.

*Wassoulou is a genre of West African popular music, named after the region of Wassoulou. It is performed mostly by women, using lyrics that address women's issues regarding childbearing, fertility and polygamy. The Wassoulou region of southern Mali is one of Africa's richest musical environments. Renowned for its ancient spiritual traditions, magic, and hunters' lore, Wassoulou has also produced the bluesiest, funkiest traditional pop music in modern Mali. Instrumentation includes soku (a traditional fiddle sometimes replaced with modern imported instruments), djembe drum, kamalen n'goni (a six-stringed harp), karignan (metal tube percussion) and bolon (a four-stringed harp). The vocals are typically passionate, emphatic and in a call-and-response format. Prominent artists include Kagbe Sidibe, Oumou Sangare, Coumba Sidibe, Dienaba Diakite, Sali Sidibe and Heather Maxwell (Wikipedia).