Traore possesses one of the most distinctive new voices of Mali. Although she is not a griot (a member of a bardic caste), her family encouraged her to sing at weddings, though her father was a wealthy diplomat and such things were frowned upon. While she was studying in France she sang with a rap group and began writing songs. In 1997 she became a protege of Ali Farka Tour, who persuaded her to record her first album, Mouneissa.
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