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Artist Spotlight

Vieux Farka Toure's Universe

by Rachel Devitt

Vieux Farka Toure's Universe

About this playlist

Son of master musician Ali Farka Touré, protégé of the legendary Toumani Diabaté and an Afropop legend in his own right, Malian singer-songwriter Vieux Farka Touré has made a name for himself by both carrying on tradition and imaginatively shifting the Afropop landscape. His oeuvre includes collaborations with those two towering father figures, Israeli musician Idan Raichel and a host of DJs/remixers, and that's in addition to his own gorgeous, intelligent solo work.

His just-released new album, Mon Pays, is an homage to his home country and the rich Malian musical traditions that serve as his foundation -- traditions that are under attack in Mali’s current political climate. Militant forces in northern Mali have effectively banned all music, sending death threats to musicians, shutting down music venues and setting instruments on fire. Mon Pays is a moving response to that terrible situation and, like all of Touré’s music, doubles as a powerful tribute to the country’s musical legacy, Touré’s own artistic pedigree and the future of Malian music. Get to know all the fascinating, amazing things this young Afropop artist has accomplished with our playlist of his songs, collaborations, guest shots, remixes and more.