Rokia Koné & Jacknife Lee share brand new song ‘Fanga’

Following the success of their 2022 collaboration album BAMANAN, Rokia Koné & Jacknife Lee return with the beautiful ballad ‘Fanga’, released on 27 April 2023 digitally.

In the brand new song, Rokia draws on the wisdom of Mali’s griots to share the message that every life on earth has a purpose and a destiny. She says, “From the great elephant to the tiny ant, each has their own strength and power, or ‘fanga’. The song invites us to step forward and face our destiny.”

Jacknife Lee adds to Rokia’s striking, dramatic vocals a sparse backing with upright piano and haunting electronics, creating a captivating and timeless sound.

The accompanying video for ‘Fanga’ is a beautiful visual duet between Rokia, filmed on the west coast of Africa, and contemporary dance artist Moses Ward, filmed in England. Directed by Zambian choreographer Kennedy Junior Muntanga, the video explores a young man’s journey towards acceptance of his destiny, guided by the voice of his ancestors.

Rokia Koné & Jacknife Lee - Fanga (Official Video)

Rokia Koné embarks on her first international tour in May in support of her critically acclaimed debut album. Formerly a member of the West African supergroup Les Amazones d’Afrique, Rokia Koné has a stop-you-in-your-tracks voice instantly familiar to anyone in Mali, where she is known as the Rose of Bamako. Jacknife Lee is the Grammy award-winning producer of major rock and pop artists such as U2, The Killers and Taylor Swift. Together they re-invent the classic Malian sound in ways both leftfield and beautiful.

The album BAMANAN was selected in the New York Times best albums of 2022 and Rokia was nominated for two All Africa Music Awards, and performed at the ceremony in Dakar, Senegal in January. Last month, Rokia was featured on the new album by avant-garde American folk artist Lonnie Holley alongside other guests Bon Iver, Michael Stipe and Sharon Van Etten. This summer, Rokia will take her live show to WOMAD Festival in the UK, Roskilde in Denmark and Festival Músicas do Mundo in Sines, Portugal.

May Tour dates

04 MAY  LA ROCHELLE  La Coursive
12 MAY  ANNECY  Bonlieu Scène Nationale
13 MAY  OSLO  Cosmopolite
17 MAY  STOCKHOLM Kulturhuset Stadsteatern

Featured release


    Rokia Koné & Jacknife Lee

    Released 18 February 2022

    It’s a voice that soars — pure, clear and true — above bass and synths, traditional percussion and infectious Mande guitar grooves. A stop-you-in-your-tracks voice instantly familiar to anyone in Mali, West Africa: Rokia Koné, a.k.a the Rose of Bamako. On her debut album, she teams up with California-based rock producer Jacknife Lee to reimagine the Malian sound in ways both leftfield and beautiful.

By Oran Mullan

Main image: Still from the video for 'Fanga', filmed on Ngor Island, Dakar.

Published on Thu, 27 April 23

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