Les Amazones d’Afrique are an all-female collective of west African musicians, campaigning for gender equality. They have been described as a supergroup, and the characterisation seems apt. Angélique Kidjo, Kandia Kouyaté, Mamani Keita, Mariam Doumbia, Mariam Koné, Massan Coulibaly, Mouneissa Tandina, Nneka, Pamela Badjogo and Rokia Koné hold a strong pedigree, and it’s a rare opportunity to witness such a collaboration; the real sound of contemporary Africa.
Angélique Kidjo has a glittering haul of Grammy awards, Kandia Kouyaté holds the title of ngara – a prestige only given to those artist-musicians of the Mande people in west Africa who possess what is deemed to be a certain aura of greatness – while some of the younger musicians, like Nneka, have been the voices behind recent international hit singles. Between them they have years of charitable work supporting other women, alongside personal struggles of illness and disability that have been overcome. Mariam Doumbia, for instance, is one half of the legendary duo Amadou & Mariam, and has managed to sidestep the prejudices associated with blindness through her music.
This is only a grainy snapshot of some of their singular achievements, but it does give insight into why the group has been so successful as a collective, and why they have decided to curate this album: République Amazone.
A2 Mansa Soyari
A4 La Dame et Ses Valises
A5 I Play The Kora
B2 Deep In Love
B4 Desert Storm