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Awa Sangho’s earliest memories are of a childhood in which song has always been her response to life observations.
She was raised in a community called Dire located in the Southern edge of the Sahara in Northern Mali, about 70 kilometers south of Timbuktu. This region of West Africa is noted for a diversity of world-class musicians and singers. The influential tinge of this regions sub-cultures shaped Awa, initially through song and dance as a child, through pursuit of performance in school, and exposure to the radio...where Awa was often found listening, singing, and discovering what makes each singer’s voice distinctive.
As a young girl she moved to Abdijan, the capital of Ivory Coast, where she quicky became immersed in its music and dance scene.
The performance group L’Ensemble Koteba D’Abidjan, noted for a blend of theatre, music and dance, offered Awa her first opportunity to perform professionally.
Awa, along with two other women formed Les Go De Koteba, a splinter group of the original L’Ensemble Koteba D’Abdijan. Their group focus was on music. They produced and recorded five albums which quickly acquired the group popularity and the experience of world-wide touring. Many of the compositions on these albums were conceived of and written by Awa Sangho.
The childhood attribute, to evince life’s milieu through performance, has matured to a beautiful expression of poetry, music and dance.
Awa's lyrics are socially conscious, often communicating reverence for the people who have touched her life, to controversial habits of culture, to message music directed to the youth. The music percolates with the rhythms and resonance of Africa and with the influence of ears that have world-wide exposure.
Awa Sangho has performed with Salif Keita, Manu Dibango, Amadou and Mariam, Habib Koite, Cheick Tidiane Seck, Joe Claussell, Marc Cary, Bassekou Kouyate, Ballake Sissoko, Vincent Segal, Oumou Sangare and Daniel Moreno.
She left for New York in 2011 and, for the last four years, has pursued a solo career, fulfilling her plan of developing a more person musical touch (while maintaining the style of Les Go du Kotéba) and achieving her ambition of becoming a cultural ambassador in the world of music. In her first solo album, “Allah Tayé Tougnan Yé” (the truth belongs to God), she also remains faithful to her committed style and does not hesitate to raise societal issues, raising, for example, the matter of education or denouncing the practice of excision. This album earned her a nomination in the “Best African Artist of the Year” category at the 57th Grammy Awards in 2015. Awa Sangho continues to move up, and clearly she will keep being talked about.