Nawal | kweli

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World: African World: World Traditions Moods: Type: Acoustic
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by Nawal

An acoustic roots-based fusion: African-Arab-Persian music mixed with Bantu polyphonies and the syncopated rhythms of the Indian Ocean.
Genre: World: African
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Al Djalilu
3:12 $1.29
2. Sana
4:29 $1.29
3. Dunia Udjissa
5:28 $1.29
4. Naritsangagnihe
4:20 $1.29
5. Mwaha Mwema
4:45 $1.29
6. Ces gens-là (J. BREL)
5:36 $1.29
7. Karibu
1:10 $1.29
8. Tsihuziwa Riali Anri
3:55 $1.29
9. Kweli
3:29 $1.29
10. Mwana Bahari Mwema
3:06 $1.29
11. Hegne
1:57 $1.29
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Nawal originally comes from the Comoros Islands, also known as the “Perfume Islands” or “Islands of the Moon,” located in the Indian Ocean off the eastern coast of Africa. Born into a family with many musicians, Nawal bathed in both popular and spiritual music from a young age, in her native islands and also in her new home in France.

Between traditional and contemporary, Nawal’s music weaves a rich dialog of cultures, a reflection of the diverse haracter of life in her native islands. Indo-Arabian-Persian music meets Bantu polyphonies, the syncopated rhythms and Sufi trance of the Indian Ocean. Nawal sings in Comoran, Arabic, French and English. An acoustic roots-based fusion, her music is rhythmically compelling and beautifully lyrical.

Known as the “Voice of Comoros,” Nawal is also the first Comoran woman singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist to give performances in public.

Nawal has gained international praise as a self-produced artist with her powerful voice and socially progressive commentary. Nawal has performed professionally for 20 years, and as a multi-instrumentalist she plays the gambusi (Comoran banjo-like instrument, cousin to the oud), the daf (Iranian frame drum), and guitar, among others. Her first full-length album, “Kweli” (Truth), was released in 2001. Nawal is currently performing and touring as part of a trio. Along with Nawal, the trio includes Idriss Mlanao on contrabass and Melissa Cara Rigoli on mbira and percussion.



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Spin the Globe

From Nawal's multicultural heritage emerges unique music that's palpably spiritu
Nawal comes from a tiny group of islands between Madagascar and the African mainland. She's the first professional woman musician from the Comoros, and her Sufi Muslim background blends with her island's multicultural heritage and influences of her international travels to create music that's unique and palpably spiritual. At a recent live performance in Olympia, Nawal had the cafe crowd singing in Arabic. Mid-song I caught my breath with the symbolic beauty of this in our deeply divided world. Nawal's flat, vibrato-free voice may take a moment to get used to, but by the end of the opening track "Al Djalilu (The All-Powerful)" you've recognized in this unique sound some truth you've always known. It's just being sung in a different voice. Throughout the album, her voice and the answering chorus play with intricate polyrhythms accomplished with with surprisingly little drumming. Kweli is easily one of our favorite discs of the year, its subtle appeal growing at each listen.


Enchanting, Entrancing
The music flows from this CD as water gurgles down a high mountain glacial stream. After a few moments, I am a twig on that stream.

Maamir Zobir

Une voix magnifique, une musique de rêve ... de voyage
C'est véritablement un CD à avoir dans sa discothèque, chez soi. Je ne loupe pas une occasion de le faire écouter à mes amis. De plus, je suis un inconditionnel de Jacques Brel et j'ai adoré "Ces gens-là" interprété de la sorte par Nawal.
J'avoue que c'est l'écoute de ce morceau dans l'émission de radio "Là-bas si j'y suis (Daniel Mermet)", qui m'a fait rechercher ce cd. Aucun regret, que du bonheur...

CD Baby

Bridging and balancing traditional styles with modern movements, Nawal's music elegantly dances between cultures, reflecting the diverse musical colors of her native Comoros Islands. In a mesmerizing Indo-Arabian-Persian fusion, her music encompasses Bantu polyphonies, intoxicating, tightly-woven rhythms and Sufi trance of the Indian Ocean. Her style and personality brings to mind such diverse artists as Zap Mama to Cesaria Evora but she cultivates a highly distinctive sound that embraces hints of pop along with the acoustic ringing of traditional instruments. Singing in Comoran, Arabic, French and English, this multi-talented artist raises the bar of quality while reclaiming the idea of a true, world community through music.