Malian singer Naba TT is the winner of the latest World Music Network Battle of the Bands with ‘Talibé’ from her debut album Dounia
After six years as a backing singer for her elder sister Rokia Traoré, Nabba TT has steadily been carving out a place on the world music stage as a talented vocalist in her own right, culminating in the release of her debut album, Dounia. Unsurprisingly given her background as co-founder of the artist-activist group Les Sofas de la République, Naba’s winning track ‘Talibé’ is part social commentary – named after the Malian children sent to receive an Islamic education from marabouts, who often force them to beg or work instead – as well as a song of maternal love. She might well be working from a foundation laid by her elder sister, but Naba brings her own style and message to the non-griot music Rokia pioneered.
From a shortlist taken from world music fans’ most popular artists, Naba was awarded the top spot by a panel of judges, with Helsinki Cotonou Ensemble and Griselda Sanderson as runners-up.