Tag Archives: Rokia Traore

Artist Profiles: Rokia Traore

Rokia Traore

Rokia Traore was born in 1974 and comes from Bamako. Though-steeped in tradition, Rokia Traore’s music is thoroughly integrated into a contemporary sound, thanks to her upbringing in a multicultural environment. Unlike many other Malian singers she does not come from the jali caste, but rather from the class sponsoring them.

Her father was a diplomat, and so she lived in many different places away from Mali: Algeria, Saudi Arabia, France, and Belgium. As a result, Rokia Traore has managed to integrate the atmospheres of great many places into her recordings. She grew up listening to all types of music, Algerian and Malian music, jazz, blues, reggae and afropop, and her original career choice was social sciences. Yet once she decided to become an artist instead, the great guitarist, singer and sound engineer Ali Farka Toure, who encouraged and recorded many of the upcoming, independent, and innovative Malian performers, became her mentor.

Rokia Traoré

Another big influence is Massembou Diallo. He used to play with Rokia’s father in an amateur band called Chiwa Band. He encouraged her to make music and composed Rokia’s first two pieces together with her.

Rokia was the winner of the African Discoveries award.


Mouneïssa (Indigo, 1998)
Wanita (Indigo, 2000)
Bowmboï (Indigo, 2003)
Tchamantché (Indigo, 2008)
Beautiful Africa (Nonesuch, 2013)
Né So (Nonesuch, 2016)


Rokia Traoré to Perform at Symphony Space

Rokia Traoré
Rokia Traoré


Acclaimed Malian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rokia Traoré is set to perform on Sunday, October 30, 2016 at Symphony Space in New York City.

Rokia Traoré mixes the sounds of Mali with desert blues, folk, and other musical traditions. On her 2016 album, Né So, Rokia invited John Parish (PJ Harvey, Eels), John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), and Devendra Banhart to help her communicate her deep sorrow at the state of chaos in her native Mali.


Rokia Traoré - "Né So" (Nonesuch Records, 2016)
Rokia Traoré – “Né So” (Nonesuch Records, 2016)


Rokia continues the strong modern legacy of female singer-songwriters from Mali such as Oumou Sangare and Fatomatou Diawara, and takes the desert blues and folk traditions of her homeland to new realms,” says World Music Institute artistic director Par Neiburger, “Rokia’s style is distinct, and her vocals and musicianship make her a singular artist who appeals to even those not familiar with or previously exposed to African music.”



Sunday, October 30, 2016, 8:00 p.m.
Symphony Space
2537 Broadway
Tickets: $35 / $45 / $55


Transglobal World Music Chart for March 2016

The album Né So by Malian singer-songwriter Rokia Traore is the number one album of the Transglobal World Music Chart in March 2016.

March 2016 Chart

1. Rokia Traoré – Né So (Nonesuch Records)
2. Baaba Maal – The Traveller (Marathon Artists / Palm Recordings)
3. Sidestepper – Supenatural Love (Real World Records)
4. Aziza Brahim – Abbar el Hamada (Glitterbeat Records)
5. Las Hermanas Caronni – Navega Mundos (Les Grands Fleuves)
6. Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood & The Rajasthan Express – Junun (Nonesuch Records)
7. Bixiga 70 – III (Glitterbeat Records)
8. Divanhana – Zukva (ARC Music)
9. Vieux Farka Touré & Julia Easterlin – Touristes (Six Degrees Records)
10. Zulya and the Children of the Underground – On Love and Science (Zulya and the Children of the Underground)
11. Tęgie Chłopy – Dansing (Muzyka Odnaleziona)
12. Lura – Herança (Lusafrica)
13, Michael Messer’s Mitra – Call of the Blues (Knife Edge Records)
14. The Gloaming – 2 (Real World Records)
15. Dizu Plaatjies and Friends – Ubuntu-The Common String (Mountain Records)
16. Sam Lee & Friends – The Fade in Time (The Nest Collective)
17. Élage Diouf – Melokáane (Pump Up the World)
18. Bareto – Impredecible (World Village)
19. Čači Vorba – Šatrika (Oriente Musik)
20. Konono Nº1 meets Batida – Konono Nº1 meets Batida (Crammed Discs)


World Music Magazine Songlines Announces Music Awards 2009

Rokia Traore - Photo by Carlo Spalieviero
Rokia Traore – Photo by Carlo Spalieviero


Renowned world music magazine Songlines announced the winners of the 2009 awards. “After much debate and deliberation, the Songlines editorial team have selected these four winners,” said a Songlines press release. “They include some of the foremost artists on the world music scene, alongside an up-and-coming name to watch and some invigorating collaborative sounds.”

Malian Rokia Traoré wins the Best Artist category. Fellow Malians Amadou & Mariam are the winners of Best Group. In the Cross-Cultural Collaboration category, Jah Wobble & The Chinese Dub Orchestra are the winners. Lastly, the Newcomer award goers to Kiran Ahluwalia.

The Songlines Music Awards recognize outstanding talent in world music and are run in partnership with WOMAD festival, culminating in performances by a selection of the nominees at this summer’s WOMAD in Charlton Park, July 24-26 2009, including Rokia Traoré, Dub Colossus and Los Desterrados.

There are four categories: Best Artist, Best Group, Cross-Cultural Collaboration, and Newcomer. The eligible artists are those who have had albums reviewed in Songlines during 2008 (from issues #50 to #57 inclusive) and were voted on by the public. The top four artists in each category give the final nominees .