Live Video: Rokia Traoré

Live Video
Janice Headley
photo by Nate Watters (view set)

Despite her delicate stature and soft-spoken voice, Malian musician Rokia Traoré is one strong artist. Since 2012, her West African home has been besieged by a military coup d'état in the capital city of Bamako. The political power struggle has created a tension that fueled her fifth and most powerful album, Beautiful Africa. As she explained to DJ Cheryl Waters, "I still trust in this country and this continent... My small contribution can make changes in Africa and in Mali, and this is Beautiful Africa." Though her lyrics are sung in the Malian language of Bambara, and sometimes in French, her positivity and sincerity don't get lost in translation. "Even where there's a war, where things are complicated, where there's poverty, is someone's home," Traoré said. "And Mali is mine, and I have no problem with that." Watch her beautiful, inspiring in-studio session below:

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