“Some Europeans who love Africa love it for exoticism”

Malian singer, Rokia Traore comments on the response to her decision to move from traditional Malian music to a more contemporary mix of African and European music.

“Some Europeans who love Africa love it for exoticism,” “Anything modern doesn’t interest them. I don’t know why they don’t realise that the traditional and the modern can exist alongside each other. I think they have an image of Africa which they don’t want to change. It’s horrible. It’s the same all over Europe, but France is the worst because here there’s that pretension of knowing Africa.

If they tried to think about it objectively they would be ashamed of themselves. They have decided how African music is supposed to be. So, when a European musician goes to Africa to make a record because he wants a different sound, then it’s amazing, it’s genius. But when an African does something with a European inspiration, it’s not normal.

Rokia Traore

Rokia plays in London at the Koko in Camden Town on Tuesday

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