MISS MAAWA also known as "Miss Maawa Malaika" was born in 1982 in the Ivory Coast - West Africa. The daughter of singer "Kagbe Sidibe" is following in her mother's footsteps as one of the most prominent and well-known singers to come out of the Wassoulou* genre of music.
“Kagbe Sidibe has been enchanting audiences in her homeland since the 1960s, a former member of Mali's Ensemble National, Sidibé has continued to develop her unique approach to the sogoninkun style as a soloist. Accompanied by her band, which includes guitarists Bayini Koita and Amadou Bagayoko (Amadou and Mariam), Sidibe's vocals soar with irresistible passion”
~ Craig Harris, All Music Guide.
As soon as MISS MAAWA could stand on her own feet, her mother called her on stage with the words: get up my "Malaika" (meaning "Angel" in arabic language) and sing for us.
At the age of 10 years MISS MAAWA "Malaika" was touring with her mother as backing vocalist. She did the backing vocals for all 4 studio albums of Kagbe Sidibe and for other well known Malian and Ivorian Artists, too. Unfortunately Kagbe Sidibe passed away after the release of the 4th Album "L' Adieu", before her incredible voice could be heard outside of the African continent. MISS MAAWA is now the only heritage of KAGBE SIDIBE'S "BAGAGE ARTISTIQUE".
MISS MAAWA began her solo career at the age of 17 and released her first album in Ivory Coast "Laihilalailala" (1999). Followed by her second album "Allahu Akbar" (2002) at the age of 20. The 3rd album "An Ka Wo Wassoulou" (2004) was released in Mali and in the whole of West Africa with great success. ("Allahu Akbar" and "An ka wo wassoulou", were both produced by "Maikano" , also producer of Kagbe Sidibe, Fela Kuti, Amadou and Mariam, and others). Some time has passed since the last album, but a chance meeting with Italian Musician Marco Romano (roadmusic productions) turned into a recording session and now Miss Maawa's latest album, "Bi Fourou".
Bi Fourou was recorded in Salif Keita's studio Moffou in Bamako. Well known musicians from the Bamako music scene have been part of this last album; as Vieux Pare (Arrangement and all round musician), Kassim Sidibe (Oumou Sangare, Ramata Diakite etc.), Zou Tereta (Oumou Sangare), Sherif Soumano (Didi Bridgewater, Tikken Jah Fakoli) and Marco Romano (Spacewalk).
The Album "Bi Fourou" was released in Mali in May 2009. But only in April 2010 the videoclip "Bi Fourou" reached Nr.1 on the Westafrican videocharts "Topetoile". "Bi Fourou" blends Miss Maawa's West African traditional sound of Wassoulou with a touch of European light Electronica/Dance; you can almost hear the roots of the next big musical form scratching for purchase here. Miss Maawa's engaging vocal style and penchant for arrangements with a solid grounding in Wassoulou but always open to touches of Western Influence may make her a perfect candidate to be at the vanguard of such a movement.
She has been promoting the release of her latest Album by performing across her homeland of Mali, appearing on a number of television productions with influential African artists including Bassekou Koujate, Adja Soumano and Nahawa Doumbia. Currently a big Mali tour is being planned for the month of July. Miss Maawa is one of those rare performers where you don't have to understand the language she's singing in to feel the power of her lyrics. Maawa's voice is a deep and eloquent alto that's full of the spirit and soul of the generations that preceded her. You can almost hear the distance of time in her voice as she pulls you in and wraps the melody around you like a net. Bi Fourou is a thing of abject beauty; a creation of earth and water and sky that you don't so much listen to as get to know.
*Wassoulou is a genre of West African popular music, named after the region of Wassoulou. It is performed mostly by women, using lyrics that address women's issues regarding childbearing, fertility and polygamy. The Wassoulou region of southern Mali is one of Africa's richest musical environments. Renowned for its ancient spiritual traditions, magic, and hunters' lore, Wassoulou has also produced the bluesiest, funkiest traditional pop music in modern Mali. Instrumentation includes soku (a traditional fiddle sometimes replaced with modern imported instruments), djembe drum, kamalen n'goni (a six-stringed harp), karignan (metal tube percussion) and bolon (a four-stringed harp). The vocals are typically passionate, emphatic and in a call-and-response format. Prominent artists include Kagbe Sidibe, Oumou Sangare, Coumba Sidibe, Dienaba Diakite, Sali Sidibe and Heather Maxwell (Wikipedia).
N'Goni, Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Drums, Voice
2009 Bi Fourou
2004 An Ka Wo Wassoulou
2001 Allahu Akbar
Bi Bourou: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOniiYY-DLc
An ka wo wassoulou: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4oCiwMiUk0
World Music Website
Some words from the fans…
....you make me want to come and visit Mali. Love love the sound you bring to this site. The rhythms and your voice are so soothing yet move me to want to dance. It's a mover, it's a groover plus fabulous vocals. ~Robin
“...really love your music ! I'm sitting here in Bangkok listening and loving it !!” ~keith
“Beautiful woman..beautiful voice...amazing music. I'm a fan. This is amazingly good medicine. Whatever you've got, Miss Maawa can cure it.” ~Vinejockey
“Beautiful singing on top of what must be the most compelling beat ever. Thanks!” ~moondog
“Absolutely wonderful Miss Maawa. Thank you so much.” ~Todd
Marco Romano, Roadmusic, Hamdalaye/ACI 2000, Rue 477, Bamako, Mali
Mali tel: 00223 65876523
Italy tel: 0039 3337488981