Born in Bamako, Oumou Sangaré took to music at an early age and quickly drew notice, with her mother, singer Aminata Diakité, helping to pave the way. At 21, Sangare was already an international star. Her music blends traditional and contemporary instruments and is inspired by the rhythms of the Wassoulou region of Mali. Her songs are pervaded by a strong element of social criticism concerning the status of women and the poor in society. Sangare has even said that, for her, the words are more important than the melody.
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