The Participant Observer World Music CD of the Month is Mogoya
by Oumou Sangaré.
Oumou Sangaré is an internationally renowned award-winning singer, composer, business pioneer and activist who champions women's rights in her native Mali and throughout Africa. Sangare's style is wassalou, a popular musical genre derived from folk traditions in the rural southwestern part of the country; the style has brought her international stardom.
Sangaré was born in Bamako, the music and arts capital of Mali. Her earliest and most profound musical influence was her mother, Aminata Diakité, a migrant from the rural region of the country, south of the Niger River. She was a sogoninkun
, a professional singer most often hired for weddings and other ceremonial occasions. Sangaré accompanied her mother often and by age ten was signing with her to help feed her family -- her father had abandoned them. Sangaré began to sing on her own professionally at 13, and by the time she was 16, she was asked to join the Malian traditional group Djoliba Percussions as its lead vocalist. She toured Europe with the band and upon returning to Bamako, began writing and developing her own take on wassalou music with assistance from the migrant community. —allmusic.com