Sounds from the Sahel: Mali Song of the Week

Nahawa Doumbia – Sadjo

Today’s marks the first appearance of Wassoulou singer Nahawa Doumbia, joining a prestigious club of singers from the region already to appear on the Hub over the past two years; Oumou Sangare easily being the most famous. Wassoulou singers are strongly associated with traditional Malian music. Ever popular with Mali’s people, it is primarily the domain of women and though traditional, its not the preserve of the conservative. Sangare is anything but conventional and artists like Issa Bagayogo have cleverly deployed their striking, soaring vocals into his chilled-out Afro-electro. An excellent blend. Doumbia pulls off a similarly exceptional mix. With deep, pulsing jazz-keys forging the base of the track, ‘Sajdo’ incorporates the kora and a lyrical, poetic genre of singing.

If fact the whole of the album ‘Diby’ is very experimental and worth a listen. Male chorus, percussion from every era, bafalon jams, jazz bass, rumbling keys, bouncing acoustics, ripping guitar solos and a beautiful range of vocals provided by a dynamic and delightful woman.


Nahawa Doumbia – Sadjo


Sam Garbett is Public Affairs Coordinator for the Mali Development Group –

To get in touch with Sam for further information he’d be happy to hear from you at Any comments and ideas for improving the Hub are especially welcome. We all look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for tuning in.

The Mali Interest Hub is an initiative run by the Mali Development Group, supported by the Alliance for Mali.

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