Mariaa Siga (born Mariama Siga Goudiaby) is a Senegalese singer/songwriter, who can trace the origins of her music career to winning a local talent show and catching the attention of acclaimed Senegalese act Joan of Arc. Joan of Arc’s frontperson mentored the young Goudiaby, helping her refine her style and further develop her musical skills. Shortly after that, Goudiaby landed a role in Mon Réve, a film which aired on RDV.
As a musician, Goudiaby was long accustomed to the traditional rhythms of the Casamance region of Southern Senegal; but her curiosity led her to discover and experiment with Western styles including the blues and jazz, which she incorporates into her own work.
In 2016, she was one of the winners of the Festival des Vielles Pirogues‘ Tremplin competition. Building upon that momentum, she released two singles the following year, “Ya sama none” and “Asekaw.” Building upon a growing profile, the Senegalese artist performed in her native Casamance for the first time with a set at 2018’s Kayissen Festival. That same year, Yoro Ndiyae featured Goudiaby on his Sunu Folk compilation. She capped off a big 2018 with a French tour that November.
Goudiaby’s full-length debut released her full-length debut Asekaw (which translates as “woman” in her native Diola) back in 2019. That year, she won Baco Records‘ One Riddim Contest, which led to sets at Morocco’s Festival MarcoFoiles, France’s Midem Festival and to an invite to play Quebec’s Festival Mondial des Femmes d’Ici et d’Ailleurs.
I’ve previously written about “Lagne Boote,” which in Goudiaby’s native Diola translates to “back to basics.” Recorded at Vagh and Weinmann Studio in Salernes, France — with the support of the African Culture Fund, the breezy and infectious “Lagne Boote” was centered around shimmering and looping acoustic guitar, shuffling African polyrhythm and Goudiaby’s gorgeous and expressive vocal. The song manages to incorporate sounds across the African Diaspora including Afropop, soca, roots reggae and more. But at its core is a powerful and simple message imploring the listening to never forget their roots.
The breezy and infectious “Lagne Boote” is centered around shimmering and looping acoustic guitar, shuffling African polyrhythm and Goudaiby’s gorgeous, expressive vocals subtly hints at sounds across the African Diaspora, including Afropop, soca, roots reggae and others. But at its core is a powerful message to listeners imploring them to never forget their roots. “When you get lost and don’t know where you’re going, go back to your sources,” Goudiaby explains.
Goudiaby’s latest single “Sama Nene” is a deeply contented sigh centered around a shuffling reggae riddim produced by Artikal Band‘s Asha D paired with the Senegalese’s gorgeous, expressive vocals singing lyrics in Wolof and French. Written and recorded while she was pregnant with her son, “Sama Nene” the song details the excitement and love she feels for her child.
The rising Senegalese artist wants to show women that it’s possible to lead a life as a woman artist — and as a mother, without having to give up her career and her dreams.