Grace Barbé will release her much awaited third album, FANM:WOMAN on Friday 5 July at Freo.Social with support from Afro party starters, Soukouss Internationale, Perth blues legends, Old Blood, and guest DJs. The show will mark Grace’s first album release since 2013’s highly acclaimed Welele!, in which time she has won another 5 WAMi awards for Best World Act, performed as far afield as New Zealand, India and East Africa and collaborated with Afrobeat legend, Tony Allen.
FANM:WOMAN continues Grace’s love affair with the music of her native Indian Ocean with songs from the Seychelles, Mauritius and Madagascar. The album also is a celebration of the roles and contributions of women throughout history, as Barbé told Around The Sound.
“I’m just happy that it’s finally getting out there. The album is a celebration of women worldwide. I thought it would be fitting to record an album that celebrates what women have contributed throughout history towards the development and the betterment of our community and society throughout history, and what we continue to contribute. I thought it was fitting to actually celebrate that.
“I come from a matriarchal society, the Seychelles, so it was important for me to celebrate that at this point in my career. Women play a very important role.”
Influenced by Barbé’s African and Indian Ocean heritage, FANM:WOMAN features ‘seggae’, the brain melting fusion of Jamiacan reggae and Indian Ocean sega pioneered by Mauritian musician Kaya, whose song Sime La Limiere is covered on the album. Amongst the other rhythms utilised are sega and tsinge, whilst even Western pop/rock gets a look in with Je T’aime. Grace sings in Kreol, English, French and Malagasy.
Diverse in its influences, Barbé’s output also is very focused.
“I’m a lot more selective in what I do and what I release. I’m a lot more comfortable being selective about things and saying no. I think as you grow, as a person and as an artist, you become a lot more comfortable in your skin, and you’re a lot more selective about what content you want to put out there. It’s work that we’re producing and putting out there to the audience.”
It may be work, but Barbé’s output is also seriously moving, both emotionally and physically – her shows are filled with the joy of movement both onstage and on the dance floor. If you’ve never seen Grace Barbé perform before, make sure not to miss her at Freo.Social on 5 July
Get your tickets here.
Check out the video from the launch of Barbé’s first album, Welele!, to get yourself in the mood.