"My lyrics are about women's issues, the toll of war on women. I encourage women to reach for their dreams and fulfill their potential. I often praise people who have helped women and artists. I am now singing a lot about peace. My country and home city are in the grip of a political crisis for which a solution has yet to be found. I am very anxious for family and friends back home, and think of them when singing."
That's a quote from Malian singer Khaira Arby, via a translator. I happened to catch her last year at SXSW, with no knowledge of who she was, and she blew me away. Her voice is a force all its own, and knowing the weight of her country's political and social climate, the music she and her band produce is especially heavy, beyond the psychedelic sounds of 2010's Timbuktu Tarab.
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