RSD 2015 release. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl. Includes download card. Limited to 500 copies. Leila Gobi became a sensation in elementary school when she began to sing. Out of her petite frame came a voice that immediately enthralled her hometown of Ménaka, Mali. Gobi's ambition from an early age was to be a singer, but, like women everywhere, she faced challenges: her family discouraged her; as a female artist from the distant province of Gao, it was tough to get recognized in the tightly knit artistic community in the capitol, Bamako; as a backup vocalist for many great musicians, it was difficult for her to get respect as lead singer and the confidence to front a group of male musicians who had always known her just as a chorus member. She formed her own group in 2010, and has released two albums in Mali in addition to performing extensively there. She repeatedly won awards as best solo singer in the province and has become its star female vocalist. She also has toured the sub-Saharan region, performing in Niger, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Guinea, and Senegal. In September 2013 she sang in North America as a featured musician presented by Clermont Music in its second Festival au Desert/Caravan for Peace tour. This album is her first international release. Two of the album's tracks were recorded on September 9, 2012 in Studio Mali, Bamako; the other six tracks were recorded at Area 52 Studios in Saugerties, NY, on September 24, 2013. All the musicians featured on the album live in Mali and have performed with Gobi on various projects over the years. Pete Levin, the lone American heard on the recordings, graciously offered to sit in on keyboards for the Saugerties sessions.