Fatoumata Diawara is a Malian actor, author, songwriter and singer who was born in 1982. In 1996 she was spotted by the filmmaker Cheick Oumar Sissoko who gave her the leading female role in his film La Génèse. She acted in several films including Sia : Le rêve du Python and two years later came to France for the first time to work at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord on Jean-Louis Sagot Duvauroux’s adaptation of Antigone. In 2002, she joined the Royal Deluxe theatre company and worked there for five years singing, acting, dancing and travelling around the world. In 2006 she was given the leading female part at the Opéra du Sahel in Bamako.
She returned to Mali after several years’ absence, was scouted by Cheick Tidiane Seck, and recorded an album with the American jazz diva Dee Dee Bridgewater. In the same period she met Oumou Sangaré who asked her to sing on his latest album Seya. Fatoumata Diawara then decided to devote herself to music and started working on her own repertoire. In May 2007 she was asked to play the part of Karaba in the musical Kirikou et Karaba based on the famous animated film. In 2011 she released her first album, Fatou, and in 2018 the album Fenfo recorded with Mathieu Chedid. Fatoumata Diawara explores her Malian musical roots while seekking to open up to other sounds and musical influences: she has performed with Bobby Womack, Herbie Hancock, Damon Albarn, Paul McCartney, Amadou and Mariam, and the Cuban pianist Roberto Foncesca.