In celebration of International Women’s Day 2020, Les Amazones d’Afrique are sharing the video for their latest single – Queens – out today on Real World Records.
Like all of the songs on the band’s new album Amazones Power, the new single gives a voice to women across the world, and Africa in particular, in their battle for gender equality and mutual respect.
Featuring Malian singer Rokia Koné on lead vocals, Queens brings a fresh perspective to a traditional Bambara song which encourages women to be strong and resilient in the face of hardship.
It is a song of solidarity for young married women who are disrespected by their husbands, their co-wives, and their in-laws every day. Whilst they have much to endure and sacrifice, the song reminds them of the important role they play in family life, and that they are not alone; they are ‘Queens’.
Les Amazones d’Afrique were formed in Bamako, Mali, in 2014 by three renowned Malian music stars and social change activists, Mamani Keïta, Oumou Sangaré and Mariam Doumbia. Since then, the collective has expanded to involve many female artists from across Africa and the diaspora.
On International Women’s Day, the band wish to amplify the messages on their latest album Amazones Power, addressing the serious issues facing women in Africa and across the world every day: gender inequality, forced marriage, and violence towards women and girls.
“To me particularly,” says the band’s youngest member, Niariu, “the biggest message would be to say that there are voices that really need to be heard – and we have to make space for all women to express themselves and take part in solutions. We can’t make feminism only about gender equality in western countries when a lot of women don’t have access to basic human rights. If we’re not all free, then some become the oppressors while others stay oppressed.”
Amazones Power is out now on Real World Records. Les Amazones d’Afrique are on tour across Europe in Spring and Summer 2020.
Tour dates are at the band’s website.