Home > 2010s, All - Songs, Tracks & Music, Era, Genre, World > Rokia Traore – N’Teri (2013)

Rokia Traore – N’Teri (2013)

Probably my favourite record of the year so far and right up there among the best songs of the 21st century!

Hailing from Mali, Rokia Traore has released five LPs since 1998 with her latest, Beautiful Africa, being released in early 2013 on the excellent Nonesuch record label. The guitar sound on this record is sublime with the LP being produced by John Parish who is well known for his previous work with PJ Harvey. According to Wikipedia, it is unusual for a female musician in Africa to play the acoustic guitar as well as singing – very glad she does, perfect!

Little known fact of the day? Rokia’s father was a diplomat; a background she shares with Joe Strummer of The Clash!

Beautiful melody; lyrics about friendship and loss and the passing of time. The full lyrics can be found here on Rokia’s own webpage. A translation of the original doesn’t really capture the nuances of the Bamana language but the following excerpt gives a flavour of the mood ….

Dear friend, let’s move on to other chapters
Dear friend, let’s make use of our time…
Dear friend, let us share the path of humanity
When I think of it, I tell myself that my time is passing
How to make the best of it is up to me!

All the studio versions have been deleted from Youtube but this scratchy live version is pretty wonderful.

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