Nawal
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Nawal

Paris, Île-de-France, France | INDIE

Paris, Île-de-France, France | INDIE
Band World Acoustic

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Music

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New York Times
« [One] of the most notable world music CDs released over the last year...
Nawal sets her gritty voice to sparse, staccato patterns of upright bass, thumb piano and the banjolike gambusi on "Aman." ...her music is a personal fusion that draws on the repetitive power of Sufi chants, along with modal acoustic vamps that can sound both African and Arabic. Her songs are lean and incantatory, and .... more often, she can be hypnotic. »

fROOTS (UK)
The track "Kweli II" from Aman was featured on the fROOTS CD compilation accompanying the issue “Best of 2007"

Global Rythm
« Top 10 World Music CD »
« A gorgeous 12-song collection »

Afropop
« A self-styled vocalist, composer and string player (guitar and the long-necked lute called gambusi), Nawal hails from Comoros, an Island nation in the Indian Ocean. She has a silver-in-the-rough voice that conveys wisdom and experience, and her music is an unorthodox blend of Comoros tradition, Sufi spirituality, and more.... Nawal is a modern original with deep respect for the past, and passionate, though never naïve, hope for the future. »

Financial Times
« Aman has a mesmeric slow burn, combining the African and Islamic influences of the archipelago...
"Meditation", almost too pretty for its own good... »

LA Weekly
« On 'Aman', her new tour de force, the nearby African rhythms - that kalimba, and the drumming and call-and-response - mix with Malagasy melodicism and tunings and the complexities of Arabic and Indian musical traditions.... The variety of songwriting and styles, that mix of sweet melody and energetic rhythms, reminds one a bit of much of Brazil's best - the variety of Caetano Veloso, of Gilberto Gil at his rootsy finest... The long tendrils of Islam are never far off, and Sufism suffuses the entire project ... and in long Sufi trance passages that must be remarkable in person. (Her live shows reportedly are even better than the album.) And dig Idriss Mlanao's jazzy bass lines - it's what jazz fans can grab onto as we listen, soaking in all the exoticism of the rest. »

Boston Globe
« Her music takes as its point of departure traditional Comorian sounds, which resonate with Arabic and African influences accumulated over centuries through the Indian Ocean trade... But if its predominant component is Comorian roots, "Aman" deviates in many ways, each one offering a glimpse of this woman's unusual journey from a highly conservative family in a highly conservative nation to the liberated spirit that she has become. »

Muzikifan
« Overall, the mood is restful and floats along with hints of Malagache music, anchoring it a bit closer to Africa than India. But there are Arabic influences too. The mbira reminds me of Stella Chiweshe's trance grooves, but the contrabass and finger-cymbals add layers that make it even dreamier. One definite plus is the sound quality... The long trance number "Ode a Maarouf," in honour of her great-grandfather, a famous Sufi marabout of Comoros, is outstanding. » - Nawal


Discography

Kweli - album (Mélodie, 2001)
Aman - album (DOM Distribution, 2007)

Photos

Bio

Turkmenistan , United States , Tanzania , Norway ... The major international tour, already much covered by the media (BBC, France Inter, National Geographic TV, New York Times...) , continues and is to be accompanied by a new album in 2010.

Originally from the Comoros Archipelago, Nawal is the first female musician from these islands to perform in public. Her deep, warm and enchanting voice has made her the “Voice of Comoros”. Between traditional and contemporary sounds, her resolutely acoustic music weaves a harmonious dialogue between the cultures of India , Arabia and Persia and Bantu polyphony, Sufi songs and the syncopated rhythms of the Indian Ocean .

Nawal sings mainly in Comorian, sometimes in Arabic, French and English, and plays a sort of local lute inherited from Yemen : the gambusi.

“Aman… the most notable world music CDs released over the last year” New York Times