In Conversation: Gorillaz’ Noodle Interviews Fatoumata Diawara

As the group drop the second instalment of Song Machine...

Gorillaz have always embraced a rather more fluid way of making music.

Whether it's creating an entire album on iPad or fusing together animation and pop songs, the group seem to continually reinvent themselves.

Right now they're focussed on Song Machine, an ad hoc release schedule that allows Gorillaz to share music as and when they feel like it.

New collaboration ‘Désolé’ has just gone online, and it pits the cartoon collective alongside Malian great Fatoumata Diawara.

The single is sung in French, English and Bambara, and although it's the first time Gorillaz have paired with Fatoumata, Damon Albarn has worked with her as part of Africa Express.

‘Désolé’ is a refreshing return, matching Albarn's wistful vocal against Fatoumata Diawara's stunning technical ability.

To celebrate the new release, Gorillaz' very own Noodle cross-examined Fatoumata for Clash…

Lake Como is an amazing place. Water is so peaceful. What’s it like living there?

It is an amazing place and water is a very important element in my live. The place is quiet and there is fresh air so it’s the perfect place for me after a tour.

You’re on tour right now – what keeps you sane on the road?

Yes I am on tour in the US – what keeps me sane is to drink a lot of water (no tea, no coffee no alcohol) only water (as crazy as it sounds) because I dance a lot and water helps to keep me hydrated.

To me, 'Désolé' as a song feels very hopeful and uplifting, even though the title means ‘sorry’. How does it make you feel?

The word Désolé to us means humble. It is a really important word as sometimes, one can hurt someone without even knowing – so it is important to be kind. I really love this song!

We’re both very lucky to travel all over the world performing, where is your favourite place in the world?

My favourite place is Bamako (I like my hometown, the place where I charge my energy) and after Bamako my second favourite is the stage!

If you had one wish, what would it be?

I am dreaming for world peace for our children – we need to focus on it. Animals are so special.

Could you choose a favourite?

I love cats! I like them all, especially elephants, although I would like to have horses in Bamako.

There is so much amazing music out in the world right now, what are you listening to?

I like to be connected with traditional music from Mali when I am on tour. I am also listening to Nigerian and African pop music now.

We get inspiration from so many different places, what inspires you?

It depends on the moment, the place and what I have been eating haha… I am very thankful as it comes from anywhere where I open my heart to, but in general it is very instinctive.

What’s your Feng Shui like? What are essential items to have in your space?

I need the music around me – this is what it makes me feel good and connected to my soul.

This is the first time I’ve heard somebody sing in Bambara. If you could teach me a saying…

Au Sokoma which means ‘good morning’ (It is currently 6am for me and I am in a taxi in Chicago) so it’s the best word that came to my mind!

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