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Nahawa Doumbia
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Nahawa Doumbia is one of the main female singers from the Wassoulou region in South Mali. Her popularity is only surpassed by Oumou Sangaré, but equal to that of Sali Sidibé.
Since her mother died shortly after Nahawa's birth, she grew up with her grandmother in Manankoro near Bougouni. Although her mother predicted shortly before she died that Nahawa would be a singer, her family had tried for a long time to prevent this from happening.

Finally, civil servants from the Ministry of Culture discovered her voice, and she first appeared on stage in 1980 at the biënnale of Bamako. She recorded some 3 albums in the 1980s, before the producer Ibrahima Sylla took her to Paris for recording sessions with Boncana Maiga resulting in the 1988 album « Didadi ». That was the starting point of an international career. On the albums « Didadi », « Nyama Toutou », and « Mangoni », the approach was to fuse African (wassoulou) rhythms and modern recording technology and instrumentation.

On later albums, « Yankaw », and « Yaala » (the album « Bougouni » was a compilation of older songs), she went back to a more pure approach of playing wassoulou music with foremostly traditional instruments and less modern influences.

Born: Mafélé (near Bougouni).
Style: Wassoulou (Didadi rhythm).


Title Year Label Remarks
Kabako 2009 Camara Production
Diby 2004 Cobalt 09362-2
Yaala 2000 Cobalt 09296-2
Bougouni 1999 Sono CDS 7065
Yankaw 1997 Cobalt 09278-2 
Mangoni 1993 Syllart 38114-2 Also released on Stern's STCD 1041
Nyama Toutou 1990 Syllart 38781-2 Also released on Stern's STCD 1033
Didadi 1988 Syllart 8337 LP
La grande cantatrice Malienne. Volume 3: Korodia 1983 AS Records AS 011
Sakoro Mery 1982 AS Records AS 006
Kourouni 1981 AS Records AS 005

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