As a child, Boubacar Traoré loved soccer. But early on, he abandoned the soccer ball for the guitar and singing. After performing with the orchestra in Kayes, his native village, he moved to Bamako, the capital of Mali. His career took off with Mali Twist, a song dedicated to his newly independent country. However, his immense popularity didn't pay the bills, and Traoré had to do a variety of jobs to make ends meet. Rediscovered by a London producer, he recorded his music for the first time in the early 1990s. Subsequently, he went on tour. On his third disc, Sa Golo (1996), he collaborated with Ali Farka Touré and Toumani Diabaté. In 2002, he was the subject of a documentary, I'll Sing for You. His eighth album, Mali Denhou, was released in 2011.