Blog March 8, 2022
Oumou Sangaré Premieres “Wassulu Don” on International Women’s Day

With her latest single and video from her upcoming album, Malian singer/songwriter Oumou Sangaré is once again a champion—championing her mother’s homeland and all women with “Wassulu Don.”

The video, shot in Ghana, was directed by Justyna Obasi, who explains: “The concept for the video was to create different vignettes with strong female characters and juxtapose them creating a unique visual canon about home from a female perspective that goes beyond blood relations and extends to friendships and community.”

With Nigerian and Polish heritage, and now splitting her time between Berlin and Lagos, director Obasi carefully draws on her influences. “For this video I had to think of cultural heritage movies by Diop Mambety, Ousmane Sembene, or Abderrahmane Sissako and how to carry those beautiful documentations of African life and family structures into the current visual reality and touch people in and out of Africa,” she says. “I envisioned poetic images like memories that are not tied to a specific time or place, but rather focus on the feeling; images that are stripped down to the core of human emotions.”

The song’s title pays homage to Sangaré’s maternal home region of Mali, Wassolou, which is one of the regions that ethnomusicologists believe contain the roots of the blues. I’d say this tune demonstrates that, however the family tree has worked over the centuries, the influence is pretty clearly a two-way street at this point.

The song comes from Sangaré’s album Timbuktu out April 29 via World Circuit Records.

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