Oumou Sangaré, the Malian legend who is known as “the Songbird of Wassoulou” and has spent her life advocating for feminist rights, has released her first original song and video in eight years. Called “Yere Faga” and featuring former Fela Kuti bandleader Tony Allen, its message is for those of us suffering from depression to “never give up, never surrender to pain.”
In the song, Sangaré’s distant hymnal backgrounds a young girl fighting against her own depression, willing herself to get out of bed and face the day. Through it, she eases into a really stunning bit of contemporary dance that exerts as an increased command as her surroundings and an expression of joy. And the song is a jam, Sangaré in her pocket over Allen’s driving Afrobeat percussion, together sweet, heartening and assertive. This is from her forthcoming album Mogoya, out May 19.