Fatima Bramme Sey stands at the crossroads of West African and Scandinavian culture, eager to make music that reflects who she is. “You can say what you want about me but I will not compromise my vision for anything,” she whispers “Take it all.” At a time when music seems to be increasingly reduced to cut and paste production, that is easier said than done. Yet the young singer succeeds in blending a variety of influences without falling into pale imitations of recognised models.
Back in 2014, Fatima’s Yellow Memories felt like a breath of fresh air on the soul/ RnB scene. Since meeting Sam Shepherd (aka Floating Points), the Swede has moved in British underground music circles, summoning an energy that leans more to breakbeat than to swingbeat. Although some associate her with hop-soul, Fatima wriggles free from the straitjacket of classifications.
To put her work into context, Fatima is the latest in a long line of female artists who have strong musical identities. An object lesson in disciplined versatility, the album sways between Aaliyah’s new jack swing and Destiny’s Child popnB, Jill Scott’s neo-soul and Kelis’s RnB. At her most experimental, Fatima conjures up the dreamy atmospheres of Björk and Kadhja Bonet. The song titles reflect her myriad influences: “Attention Span of a Cookie” breaks down a love affair, while the title track that closes the album, And Yet It’s All Love shows ambition on a grand scale: “Universe where are you leading me / Help me finish the story of love”. With this collection of songs from the heart, Fatima proves as accessible as she is addictive, for your unlimited listening pleasure!
Fatima, And Yet It’s All Love (Eglo Records)