originally comes from the Comoros islands off the East African
coast. So respected is she that she's known as 'The Voice of
the Comoros'. Nawal heard a variety of popular and spiritual
music while growing up, and other members of her family are
She is not only a singer, she's a multi-instrumentalist. She
plays the Comoran gambusi which is a like a banjo (actually
originally from Yemen!), the daf (frame drum from Iran) and
the guitar. Her music is distinctive and yet has many influences
such as Persian, Indian and Arabian, Bantu polyphonies and Sufi
trance. Reflecting those, she uses Comoran, Arabic, French and
English languages for her lyrics.
Nawal's first album Kweli (Truth) was released in 2001.
It has 11 beautiful acoustic tracks featuring many
top musicians including 2 from Fela Kuti's family!
Her songs are mostly about light life and love, with messages
about education and unity.
Several of Nawal's songs are included on compilations, for example
Putumayo featured Nawal’s song 'Hima' on the Women
of Africa compilation (2004), and 'Al Djalilu' is on Island
Nawal's second album, Aman (2007) is acoustic roots-based
fusion - in the songs Nawal sings about creation and she wants
each person to have peace in their soul. In this album her own
out more clearly rather than being surrounded by too many instruments.
Nawal's public performances began over 20 years ago. She is
the first Comoran woman singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist
to give performances in public. A list of those events which
include significant festivals in USA, Canada, Morocco, Comoros
and many countries in Europe, is on Nawal's own website www.nawali.com
site a few examples, the
Femmes du Monde festival in Paris,
the Sauti za Busara festival
in Zanzibar, and
Worlds of the Indian Ocean Festival in Nairobi.
On Nawal's website you can also hear excerpts of her powerful