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Kif. Malian singer/songwriter, Inna Modja’s bold, conscious, hip-hop-pop is brought all the way to You[tube] from Timbuktu and lays a sucker-punch to pop music’s mouth…

The track busts off her latest album Motel Bamako and although it may look like your average Blipster music video, Modja speaks out against the current political instability in Northern Mali and violence against women – bra-less and in a Thomas Sankara T-shirt. A bold move by the young singer since secular music, music videos and other media were banned under extreme interpretations of Sharia Law in 2012. Still, Youtube and protest prevail.


One of seven kids, the French-speaking artist was supposedly influenced by her older siblings’ Thrash Punk, 80/90’s Rap and Heavy Metal teenage rebel phases; as well as her Pappa’s classic Ray Charles and Ella Fitzgerald records. The lucky sister also grew up nextdoor to the Grandaddy of Afro-Pop, Salif Keita, who encouraged her to join in his jam sessions.

Although the French-speaking Femcee has transitioned into a more bounce-’round-in-yo-bedroom/pop/soul sound since then – ‘Tombouctou’ is the perfect track to pump on the way to the beach or the next [Kak Thing] Must Fall protest…

Big up to all the bold Malian musos, artists and activists like Moussa Remi Mariko, Mamou Daffe, Songhoy Blues and so many more speaking up and out for the people of Mali (and the world) with fireballs of flavour! For more on the music ban in Mali check out the documentary ‘They Will have to Kill us First‘ which screened at the Durban International Film Festival in 2015. Rumour has it that Inna Modja will also be pulling into to Durban’s Zakifo Muzik Festival 2016. Watch this space!

P.S. Check out the Domenico Torti remix to ‘Tombouctou’ here.


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