Songlines Music Awards Winner

Newcomer: Fatoumata Diawara

Album: Fatou (World Circuit)

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Fatoumata Diawara appears to have worked her musical charms on pretty much everyone in the last 12 months, garnering outstanding reviews from The Times, The Telegraph and The Guardian to Mojo, Q and online music bible Pitchfork. The Sunday Times even named her debut, Fatou, their No 1 world music album of 2011 and the album remains in the world music charts six months after its release.

Fatoumata Diawara

artist photo © Youri Lenquette

Last autumn she performed as part of Damon Albarn’s new super-group project Rocket Juice and the Moon before supporting AfroCubism at the Royal Albert Hall and Staff Benda Bilili on their UK dates. She then toured extensively herself, selling out venues including the Jazz Café in London and the Alhambra in Paris as well as shows at Sydney Festival in Australia. In March she appeared at The Guardian Open Weekend where she performed a solo set and at the Barbican as Roberto Fonseca’s special guest.

A cursory glance over her summer tour schedule shows that things aren’t about to slow down for our favourite Malian songbird either: she seems to be playing at almost every UK festival this summer including Brighton Festival, Back2Black, Latitude, Larmer Tree, Wilderness and Electric Picnic. A deserving - and hard-working- winner if ever there was one!