Falle Nioke and Swedish producer sir Was have teamed up for the hypnotic new track, ‘Wonama Yo Ema’.
Guinean singer Falle Nioke and the Swede may seem like unlikely bedfellows, but they make it work. Nioke arrived in the UK three years ago, after a period of travelling around West Africa. His life experiences gifted the singer with a kaleidoscopic world view which clashes with sir Was’ production in a rejoiceful manner as these two contrasting cultures sit side-by-side on the track.
‘Wonama Yo Ema’ is a taster from the duo’s upcoming EP, Marasi, which arrives through PRAH Recordings on April 30th. The release is Margate-based Nioke’s first EP since 2020’s Youkounkoun, which he named after the Guinean village where he grew up and it established him as an artist to keep an eye on.
The title of the new single, ‘Wonama Yo Ema’, means ‘do not neglect people’ in Susu, one of the seven languages in which Nioke speaks. That message is omnipresent across the track, and you don’t have to be fluent in Susu to profoundly feel the waves of sincerity that Nioke crams into the song. “If you help someone who is poor or in need, don’t judge them or spoil their name in the community,” Nioke comments on the track’s message.
Before they first worked with each other at PRAH Studios in Margate, Was had only heard a brief snippet of Nioke’s work and was blown away in their first session. “Falle was singing and playing the Gongoma,” the producer recalled. “His voice was powerful and at the same time very soft and fragile, rich and full of overtones. It filled the room. I was behind a drum kit, and from there we started making music together.
“To me, it felt like neither of us really knew what the other one was expecting from this session. A walk into the unknown that would become the Marasi EP.”
The instrumentals in ‘Wonama Yo Ema’ float throughout the track and leave you, as a listener, in a haze, spellbound by Nioke’s woozy vocals that glide across the three minutes.