Agnes Diawara Interview (20/12/2015)

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With the amount of content we have to wade through on a daily basis to supply the quality everyone deserves, we rarely get time to actually sit down and enjoy some new music without it being tampered by the niggles of labour that comes afterwards. However, when one of our directors was on a little trawl around the internet, he discovered an absolute gem of an act. Though none of us speak a snip of french, we fell in love with Agnes’ version of J’me Tire. With over 330,000 views on the video and an accumulation of over 1,000 views per cover, she’s a YouTube sensation with unbelievable talent. We are proud to welcome you to our question and answer with Agnes Diawara! The interview went as below:

Q. What would you say is your favourite style of music to create, how would you describe it to a new audience?

A. My favorite style of music entails sensitive songs in which I can put my emotions. It can be ballets but it can also be up-tempo songs. I sing songs about the things that I can empathize with. For me it’s very important that my audience can feel what I sing, that they can be just as connected to the song as I am when I sing it.

Q. Who are your biggest influences when making music and do you feel you add some aspects from their style into your own creations?

A. My father is a west-African musician and has always inspired me. He plays the Kora, a west-African harp with 21 strings, which is a perfect example of an instrument that can bring emotion to the deepest. This instrument has inspired me. When I hear a song that I like I not only want to transmit the emotions from the song with my voice but also with my guitar. I just start singing and playing at the same time. I strum almost all the time. In this way, by playing one note a time, I am more able to control the song and the emotions I want to convey in the song. I do not only play covers, two years ago I started to wright my own songs. These are very personal and written from my heart but it makes me very happy that not only me but also my audience can relate to it and feel the emotions that I put into the songs.    

Not only my father but also Beyoncé is a huge model to me. ‘Ave Maria’ from her album ‘I Am Sasha Fierce’ made me fell in love with her. She can sing with so much emotion and power. I believe every word she sings. And not only that but also how she performs, like a strong independent women. She inspired me to not only sing a song but most importantly deliver a song. 

Q. So, as we all know, you appeared on Holland’s version of ‘The Voice’ earlier this year and got incredible feedback from some well-known artists off of the show, you also accumulated a massive 350,000+ views on your audition too which I must say is absolutely amazing! So how would you describe your experience on being on a show like that and how has it elevated your potential career as an artist from that?

A. Two friends of mine signed me up, but I never thought I would even make it to the blind audition. You first have to go through pre-selections which are already pretty heavy, but I made it through them and I can never be more thankful to my friends because I would never have signed me up myself. I already get nervous by watching the show. But it was definitely the best experience of my life. I normally always perform with my sister so through The Voice I got to know my own voice better. It also brought me out of my comfort zone by singing French, for example. I had never done that before and when I got to sing with Ivan, my battle partner, I had to perform without my guitar which was pretty new to me too. I also had to lift myself to a higher level to try to get to the same level of my Ivan because he is already so experienced. But he was very nice to me and helped me with it.

Q. We also know you post the occasional cover onto YouTube which has started to pull in your own individual audience that keeps growing and growing, are there any big plans for the future then musically on the channel or in general?

A. My experience with The Voice definitely made me wanting to do more with music then I already did. I made my own YouTube channel on which I will keep posting covers and hopefully get a bigger audience. But I am already so grateful for the fans I gained by participating in The Voice. They encouraged me to make the YouTube channel. I am also orienting myself for doing audition at the conservatory. To end, I also got more connections in the music industry and different projects that I am engaged in now.

Q. What album would you crown your favourite of all time and why?

A. I don’t think I really have a favourite album, each year I have a different one, but I do have favourite songs!

Ave Maria is one of them because this song was the first song in which  I could feel the emotion and really deliver it. Even though I was too young to really understand it, I could feel it. It also was the first song I ever performed so it brings a lot of youth memories with it. Another favorite songs is Koulandjan from Kélétigui Diabaté (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6KoVZjqYng). It’s a west- African song that I fell in love with the first time I heard it. You can hear the Balaphone in it. This is also an west-African instrument which my father knows how to play.  

(in this picture you can see my father playing with me, my sister and my little brother. The Balaphone is the instrument my brother is playing)

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Q. What advice would you give other young singers that are looking for exposure in the industry and what would you say is the most important aspect of being an artist when starting out?

A. The most common answer to this question is: stay true to yourself or stay close to yourself. But I think this answer is too superficial. Because we, young singers, mostly don’t even know yet who we are. We are still on that journey to find ourselves so we still have to experiment and doing so you sometimes have to go out of your comfort-zone and try new things. So sometimes you have to do things that you don’t feel is close to yourself but it might turn out great for you! I think this makes you grow as an artist and I not only think young singers have to do this but every artist does so to grow as an artist.

I know we sound like a broken record when we say she was a pleasure, but she was the definition of lovely. Not only is she a wonderful human being, she also has one of the voices to watch coming out Europe. Never before have we had all four directors at the head of the company have the same singer on their playlists.With an angelic tone, a range wider than Mars and a timbre smoother than silk, her voice was one of the finds of the year. So we implore everyone to subscribe to her YouTube, like her Facebook and get supporting her immediately because she deserves all your attention and more!

Agnes Diawara Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Agnes-Diawara-420970241436665/?fref=ts

Agnes Diawara YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK_j0vtwuEmvY7WkpiLMp1Q

Agnes Diawara Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/agnesdiawara/

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