At age 31, Marema Fall is the new talent in Senegalese music. This singer was born in the Dakar suburbs to a Mauritanian father and a Senegalese mother. Her mother was a fan of Tracy Chapman, whose acoustic music joined young Marema in the cradle and would remain a key influence. Listening to this artist made Marema decide to learn to play the guitar.
After graduating from the music school of the Maison de la Culture de Dakar in 2011, she began as a backup singer with leading Senegalese artists, including Didier Awadi, Yoro Ndiaye, Edu Bocandé, Metzo Djatah and Idrissa Diop. Meanwhile, she composed and wrote her own repertory. Ivorian band leader and guitarist Mao Otayeck, known for his work with Alpha Blondy, Salif Keita, Tony Allen and Stevie Wonder, noticed her then and accompanied her in the production of her first solo recording.
Success was not long in coming. Following the release of an initial single, “Femme d’affaires,” she won the Star Africa Sounds Jury Award and the Bema jury award in 2014. Better yet, she received the prestigious Découvertes RFI award, enabling her to undertake a 15 countries tour. She was also nominated to the All Africa Music Awards in the “Best female artist in African inspirational music” category.
Marema’s music blends traditional influences and contemporary beats. Her borderless melodies touch upon African sounds as well as blues, pop and rock. Her repertory reflects her mixed identity. In “Femme d’affaires,” the rock guitar meets the xalam, a popular string instrument in West Africa. In this piece, Marena pays tribute to strong women who rely only upon themselves to move ahead. A talent urgently worth discovering.