Home > 2010s, All - Songs, Genre, World > Rokia Traoré – Sarama (2013)

Rokia Traoré – Sarama (2013)

Rokia Traoré’s superb album “Beautiful Africa” was one of my favourite records of last year and I have previously posted a scratchy version of the best song from it here.

“Sarama” is a close second and, again, features stunning playing and singing by Rokia and superb production by John Parish – the latter probably best known for his work with PJ Harvey.

Hailing from Mali, Rokia Traoré’s style is all her own but every so often you get an echo of a Tracy Chapman moment (with whom Parish has also worked) and, on this song in particular, Bjork. No, really.

Rokia’s sings in the West African language of Bamana, as well as French and occasional bursts of English, and the often personal lyrics are concerned with Traoré’s thoughts on her own life, and on her tragically battered homeland. An excerpt.

 Farafina mousso

I miss your smile
I want to hear your laughter
I admire the courage you face your destiny with
Ô Farafina mousso
I miss your smile
I want to hear your laughter
My inspiration is drawn from you

A remarkable stripped back live recording and then the album version. Perfect.

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