Need a burst of energy to get you to the end of the week? Look no further than Malian singer Ben Zabo whose music, full of rich textures and harmonies, would rouse any snoozing person into life. Zabo is from the Bwa ethnic group, a culture where the music traditions are more upbeat and energetic then most Malian music. It’s the perfect companion to the more down-tempo and reflective Malian releases you may be used to by artists like Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate.
On ‘Wari Vo’, Zabo is backed by a hard-hitting 7-piece band: they make a lot of noise – flowing guitar licks, stirring horns and hypnotic percussion which makes ‘Wari Yo’ more than dance-floor ready. Released in the US via Glitterhouse Records, the lyrics (detailing Malian poverty) are very touching, especially when compared to the new Rihanna single. Check out a translation of them here.