Oumou Sangere: Heart and Soul of Mali

African music, often placed into specific categories like, Afro beats, Afro jazz, etc, has merged
its presence into the everyday lifestyle of the average music listener. Mali specifically plays a
huge role in the music that is produced within Africa and, more than ever, artists deriving from
Mali have been making their mark within the African music industry. Among the many talents
lies Oumou Sangeré.

Oumou Sangeré is a Grammy Award-Winning Malian musician who, through her art and work
ethic, has made her mark within the music industry based on her specific voice that effortlessly
embodies the life and culture around her. Her sound is distinctly reminiscent of old school
Malian music with an undeniable modern aspect which makes her music something that
spreads out to such a large variety of people. Oumou is a direct descendent of musiciality, her
mother is Aminata Diakite. Aminita Diakite being a musician herself was an obvious
passageway for Oumou diving into music herself. Although Oumou was the direct descendant
of a musician, her uprising consisted of many street interactions and in person discoveries.
Because of her ambition and persistence she was able to overcome many stereotypes as well
as personal ideals she knew she was meant to overcome.

Her first album selling more than 20,000 copies was her mark into stardom. Oumou later on
created several albums that encompassed her overall energy about life and truly signified her
stance within west african music in general. Oumou Sangare developed the art of a very
specific genre within West African music and her art is still very much felt throughout the culture
of African music today.

The specific music video I am highlighting today is her single “Kamelemba”.

The video began with dances adorned in white and black outfits, predominately in white, that dance their way through the video. This vast difference in color encompassed the specific styles embodied within the culture in comparison to the traditional style. The dances were also very much modern and created a beautiful twist between modern day art style and ancient. The actual sound is reminiscent of the ancient sound of Mali but the video is able to embody the art of all that is present in today’s music.

Instagram: Oumou.sang

Twitter: OumouSangare

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