Espace: Track by Track

Tama's Espace brings together three extraordinary singer-songwriters based in Paris with one maverick Londoner: Tom Diakite and Mamani Keita from Mali; Djanuno Dabo from Guinea; and guitarist Sam Mills. It is an album of beautiful songs, deep grooves and rich instrumentation that will make your heart melt and your pulse speed.

1. Oka

Djanuno:Oka’ is a cry of joy. Sometimes you find yourself very far from realising your dreams but, strangely, the paths you follow in the meantime can lead you unexpectedly to your goal.

2. Yalala

Mamani: A ‘yalala’ is an unsteady character who is always out and about, is known everywhere and gets to see a bit of everybody else’s business.

3. Ibata

Tom: ‘You will learn.’ Life gives you many opportunities to choose right from wrong. But, beware, the evil you choose will find its own use for you.

 

4. Espace

Tom: Everybody needs freedom and love undiminished by hunger and conflict. Djanuno: The space we live in is green and rich; it needs to be well tended. Mamani: Peace is made in togetherness of lovers and friends.

5. Credit

Tom: The one who seeks credit comes with a honeyed tongue, but when the time comes to repay he melts into the air.

6. Snimbe

Djanuno: ‘Child.’ A woman in a war zone has lost her child and wanders from camp to camp, searching. In utter despair, she sits by a river crying and an angel appears, telling her to keep looking and that she will find her child. Eventually reunited, she returns with her child to her village to find it destroyed, but she has managed to keep what is most precious to her.

 

7. Kanake

tom: ‘Don’t!’ Polygamy is no solution for the unfaithful.

8. Baro

Mamani: I want sweet talk. The talk of my husband gives me pleasure. I want to find my love again. For sweet talk does not exist in the beyond. The place of words is full of the living who make themselves heard.

9. Isnaba

Djanuno: ‘The one and only.’ Whether Christian, Muslim or Animist, African people might pray to their angels to learn to communicate, share and work together.

10. Wilikitama

Tom: ‘Get up and walk.’ My tribute to malian dramatist Soutiqi Kouyate. The word is shared between the speaker and the listener. The eye that sees no hope sees little sleep, but soutiqi is a hope and a balm for us all.

11. Marimasa

Mamani: ‘Sovereign.’ People can blame everything on others but, just as the divine is beyond reproach, so can problems often be better faced through acceptance.

12. Foli

Tom: ‘Greetings.’ Always be polite and respectful. Otherwise, those whose salutations you ignore will be replaced by those whose aggression you will have to answer.

Featured album

  • Espace

    Tama

    Released 30 September 2002

    Tama brings together three extraordinary singer-songwriters based in Paris with one maverick Londoner: Tom Diakite and Mamani Keita from Mali; Djanuno Dabo from Guinea; and guitarist Sam Mills. An album of beautiful songs, deep grooves and rich instrumentation that will make your heart melt and your pulse speed.

By Tama

Tama are a band with members from Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and the UK. They create an acoustic Afropop sound, building on West African roots.

Published on Sat, 19 October 02

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