Set in Paris’ 13th arrondissement, the all female Afro-futurist video shot by Chris Saunders references Congolese “La Sape” dandy culture in a deliberately non-gender, European setting.
Performances by the female dancers of the Swaggers Group form a retort to the mistreatment of women by the womanisers of Kamelemba, which Sangaré outs in her lyrics.
She told us: “It’s about men who show off, who bring women down, about women who fall badly in love. I wrote that song to give advice to our sisters to be careful, because there are loads of kamelemba out there.”
According to Sangaré, the lyrics are meant with a good deal of humour.
“We do a lot of teasing in African music,” she explained. “We tease each other, but it isn’t malicious. These are messages we need to get across, but they’re not really mean. I accuse men, but some say: ‘Women are like that too!’”
Kamelemba features Sangaré’s long-standing Kamel N’goni player Benogo Diakité, alongside young Malian guitarist Guimba Kouyaté. The French production collective A.l.b.e.r.t. (who have also worked with Air, Beck, and Franz Ferdinand) added drums, bass, and keyboards.
The video arrives close on the tail of Oumou’s recent appearances on Later With Jools Holland (as part of the show’s first ever all-female line-up, alongside Lorde and Pumarosa). Following a sold-out Village Underground headline show last month, Sangaré will be back in the UK this summer for a string of festival appearances, including Glastonbury and Citadel.