‘Wonama yo ema’ is the new single from Falle Nioke a singer and percussionist from Guinea Conakry in West Africa who is collaborating on this track with Joel Wästberg aka sir Was whose background couldn’t be more different as he comes from Frillesås on the western coast of Sweden. Given the number of languages spoken in Africa it’s unsurprising that Nioke can sing in French, English, Susu, Fulani and Malinke but the beauty of music is that it is not interested in borders only the excitement that collaborations can bring. ‘Wonama yo ema’ means “do not neglect people” in Susu.
I had previously bought last year’s critically acclaimed Youkounkoun EP which saw Falle Nioke collaborating with Ghost Culture. A superb set of four tracks that got A-list treatment from BBC 6Music. So ‘Wonama yo ema’ is a tantalising taste of what Nioke and sir Was will bring to their EP Marasi which is out at the end of April. It’s a gently undulating collage of percussion, recorder-like keyboard sounds and Nioke’s soulful voice floating like a leaf caught on the breeze over the top. It’s also worth listening to the warm swirling sensation on ‘Rain’ which was the first single release from the Marasi EP.
Review by Paul F Cook