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Fatou Guewel Diouf hails from a traditional griot family in Senegal, starting her career singing about the Mouride of Senegal, namely Cheikh Mohamadou Kara Mbacke.

Fatou Guewel is currently Senegal’s most popular female artist. Young, prolific and energetic, this is her international debut CD release. We have grown used to the Mande griotes from Mali and guinea over the last ten years or so. Senegalese women, however, have so far been more conspicuous by their absence.

Fatou Guewel makes street mbalax, or traditional mbalax. The rhythm is provided by a simple xalam, keyboards and bass guitar, over which Fatou’s majestic voice rises and dips in emotion and strength.

The lyrical context lends an arabic feel, though in true Senegalese style the music never loses its quentessentially African rootsiness, thanks to an army of percussionists who add a hard, mesmeric edge.

Edited by jenyc on 4 Apr 2010, 10:14

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