Oumou Sangaré – Kamelemba

Kamelemba is a song by Malian Wassoulou musician Oumou Sangaré, included as the fifth track on her 2017 album Mogoya. The official music video for the track features performances by 'The Swaggers Dance Crew'.

Official Music Video

  • Year of release: March 2017
  • Type of music release: Album track
  • From album: Mogoya
  • Genre: Electronic, Synth-pop, World
  • Style: African
  • Producer: A.L.B.E.R.T.
  • Label: No Format

What music magazines wrote about 'Kamelemba'


"Thin synths add a layer of coy sweetness that dances with the earthy swell of traditional instruments that keeps on growing as the song draws to its eventual conclusion: her solo voice on a final long note."[1]


"Grammy-winning Malian singer Oumou Sangaré teams up with South African director and fashion photographer Chris Saunders for the surreal music video for her latest song "Kamelemba.""[2]


The director of the music video for Kamelemba revealed to the video channel NOWNESS:
"This is a layered visual ode, dedicated to redefining Afro-futurism in a stark European setting. It is a portrayal of modern beauty, fashion and dance set in a realistic futuristic environment."[3]

The Independent

"On dynamic opener “Kamelemba”, she warns against womanisers over the sharp pluck and twang of the kamele n’goni."[4]

The Quietus

"From the sweet vocal harmonies that open the album, over tightly knotted riffs, the message is defiantly not to take advantage of her - “Stop lying to me, don’t mess me about” on ‘Kamelemba (The Womaniser)’."[5]


"The advice she offers is timely—in Wassoulou n’ke, a dialect of the Bambara language—she warns women to be careful of falling in love with vain men who will only bring them down."[6]


"The impressive single “Kalemba” is a great example here, as local instruments – donso ngoni (a.k.a. hunter’s harp) and smaller kamale ngoni – are seamlessly suplemented by thick synth waves." [Editor's note: writing error in original -> the song title is correctly Kamelemba][7]


"The gradual build up of the instrumentation has the ability to discreetly work its way through the system of each listener until they feel completely engulfed by the upbeat rhythm."[8]


[1] Pontecorvo, A. (2017, June 8). Oumou Sangaré: Mogoya (Album Review). PopMatters. https://www.popmatters.com/oumou-sangare-mogoya-2495389089.html

[2] Durosomo, D. (n.d.). Oumou Sangaré's New Music Video 'Redefines Afrofuturism' Through Dance - Okayplayer. OkayAfrica. https://www.okayafrica.com/oumou-sangare-kamelemba/

[3] Mathis, C. (2017, June 5). Oumou Sangaré: Kamelemba. NOWNESS. https://www.nowness.com/story/oumou-sangare-kamelemba-chris-saunders

[4] O’Connor, R. (2020, June 30). Oumou Sangaré: ‘People don’t need to speak your language to understand what you’re trying to say’ | The Independent. The Independent. https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/oumou-sangare-interview-acoustic-album-mali-wassoulou-music-a9587326.html

[5] Troughton, R. (2020, November 5). The Quietus | Reviews | Oumou Sangaré. The Quietus. https://thequietus.com/articles/29164-oumou-sangar-acoustic-review

[6] Okoth-Obbo, V. (2017, May 16). Oumou Sangaré: “Kamelemba.” Pitchfork. https://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/19101-oumou-sangare-kamelemba/

[7] Mecha, T. (2017, July 13). Mali: Oumou Sangaré - “Mogoya” – beehype – Best Music From Around the World. https://beehy.pe/oumou-sangare-mogoya-kamelemba-mali/

[8] Black, A. (2017, May 9). Oumou Sangaré highlights the infectious sounds of Mali on “Kamelemba.” Complex. https://www.complex.com/pigeons-and-planes/a/adrienne-black/malian-singer-oumou-sangare-kamelemba

WordPress Cookie Notice by Real Cookie Banner