Nahawa Doumbia

Nahawa Doumbia is one of the most prominent female singers from the Wassoulou region in South Mali. Her popularity can be easily compared to that of Oumou Sangaré, or that of Sali Sidibé. Since her mother died shortly after Nahawa's birth, she grew up with her grandmother in Manankoro, near the regional town of 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 Biennale of Bamako. She recorded three albums in the 1980s, before producer Ibrahima Sylla took her to Paris for recording sessions with Boncana Maiga, which resulted in the high-tech album « Didadi » (1988). That was the starting point of an international career. On the albums « Didadi », « Nyama Toutou », and « Mangoni », her 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 mainly with traditional instruments and less modern influences.

She is often accompanied by her husband N'Gou Bagayoko on guitar. Her daughter, Doussou Bagayoko has followed her in her footsteps.

Nahawa Doumbia
  Nahawa Doumbia

Born: 1960, in Mafélé (West of Bougouni, in the southern part of Mali)
Style: Wassoulou music (Didadi rhythm)

Title Year Label Remarks
Kanawa 2020 Awesome Tapes From Africa #039 LP/CD/Cassette/digital
Kabako 2009 Camara Production
Diby 2004 Cobalt 09362-2
Yaala 2000 Cobalt 09296-2
Bougouni 1999 Sono CDS 7065 Compilation
Yankaw 1997 Cobalt 09278-2
Nyama Toutou 1990 Stern's STCD 1033 Including all tracks of Didadi
Nyama Toutou 1990 Syllart 38781-2
Mangoni 1988 Syllart 38114-2 Also released on Stern's STCD 1041 (1993)
Didadi 1987 Syllart 8337 / 8742 LP
Volume 3: Korodia 1983 AS Records AS 011 "La grande cantatrice Malienne"
Volume 2: Sakoro Mery 1982 AS Records AS 006
Découverte 81 à Dakar: Kourouni 1981 AS Records AS 005 "La grande cantatrice Malienne"

Page added February 1998