Dobet Gnahoré returns with force. But a gentle force, like tenderness brandished at arm’s length for a heart-to-heart exchange.
She sings about the unity of women and Africa. One carries the other on her shoulders, in her heart, in her pain, in her joy. The other pushes the woman forward, forcing her to advance for her children, her man, her family, her people, her country, her continent… Before us the image of a woman as a uniting force appears, over many generations and beyond prejudices. Out of necessity, circumstance, love, even when suffering poisons her daily existence.
Dobet describes the women who touch her. She who loses her own life at the moment of giving life. She who suffers at the hands of her husband. She who refuses a forced marriage. She who mourns a forbidden love. She who does not understand, who hesitates, who regrets, who questions, who tries to understand, who hopes and wants to more forward. And of course, she who loves and says thank you. And who, following Dobet’s example, learns from the daily act of rubbing up against life. Multiplying encounters, measuring her luck, seeing where the light comes from.
Dobet Gnahoré once again shares her music by entrusting each musician with the task of arranging three songs. These songs do not add up; they multiply, reinforcing each other and resonating further. Two sides of the scales appear: on one side, death, absence, the loss of loved ones, of those who love, whose absence would be indescribable except for allowing the heart to speak, which is so well expressed in song. On the other, hope, the desire to continue, the movement that outweighs grief. Dobet Gnahoré sings about the balance of life: the equilibrium in imbalance, the need to move from one side of the scales to the other without respite or risk losing our footing and falling into an abyss. So we need the strength to move forward, through music if necessary while dancing to pray with the feet and singing to answer the chorus. Dobet Gnahoré is capable of the same extraordinary mixture of fury and gentleness on stage as on disc.