Posts Tagged ‘Mali’

Songhoy Blues is a band whose experiences in Mali have opened their eyes to universal problems plaguing people everywhere. Using the pain and lessons learned from having to leave their hometowns in northern Mali, the band realizes that human rights is a concept that extends far beyond what they have seen with their own eyes and far beyond just the borders of Mali. In order for the band to see their homes restored, they understand the fight must be fought on all fronts, for everybody across the spectrum. They are no longer refugees or exiles or four people with instruments—they are Songhoy Blues, a musical voice for empowerment and equality.

Working with Matt Sweeney, who encouraged the band to make the album they want to make, “Optimisme” confronts our world today. On “Badala” and “Gabi,” Songhoy Blues seeks the empowerment of women, asking for centuries-old misogynistic practices to be done away with. With “Worry,” the band advises both the young and the old that positive vibes and persistence are the best tools to fight our struggles. In “Asssda,” the band praises and thanks the everyday warriors who wake up everyday to sweat for the betterment of their communities and in “Dournia,” the band laments the lack of compassion and empathy between humans today in the face of increasing materialism and selfishness. “Bon Bon” warns of being fooled by shiny promises, and in “Barre” the band asks for the youth to get involved at home for change while warning off those who wish to divide in “Fey Fey.” Each time Songhoy Blues steps to the mic on Optimisme the band confronts, consoles, praises, thanks, and encourages the listener toward a better world tomorrow. 

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released October 23rd, 2020

Songhoy Blues is a band whose experiences in Mali have opened their eyes to universal problems plaguing people everywhere. Using the pain and lessons learned from having to leave their hometowns in northern Mali, the band realizes that human rights is a concept that extends far beyond what they have seen with their own eyes and far beyond just the borders of Mali. In order for the band to see their homes restored, they understand the fight must be fought on all fronts, for everybody across the spectrum. They are no longer refugees or exiles or four people with instruments—they are Songhoy Blues, a musical voice for empowerment and equality.
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Working with Matt Sweeney, who encouraged the band to make the album they want to make, “Optimisme” confronts our world today. On “Badala” and “Gabi,” Songhoy Blues seeks the empowerment of women, asking for centuries-old misogynistic practices to be done away with. With “Worry,” the band advises both the young and the old that positive vibes and persistence are the best tools to fight our struggles. In “Assada,” the band praises and thanks the everyday warriors who wake up everyday to sweat for the betterment of their communities and in “Dournia,” the band laments the lack of compassion and empathy between humans today in the face of increasing materialism and selfishness. “Bon Bon” warns of being fooled by shiny promises, and in “Barre” the band asks for the youth to get involved at home for change while warning off those who wish to divide in “Fey Fey.” Each time Songhoy Blues steps to the mic on Optimisme
 the band confronts, consoles, praises, thanks, and encourages the listener toward a better world tomorrow.

Releases October 23rd, 2020

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“The harshness of life still weighs on our societies and sinks many young people into a dead end,” says the band in a unified statement. “’Worry’ is a positive energy that Songhoy Blues want to be a ray of hope for humanity. ‘Worry’ is about not stopping fighting because at the very end you will find the light.”

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Released June 17th, 2020 Produced by Matt Sweeney

Gospel-infused Malian rhythms meet experimental western orchhestrals in Ladilikan, a collaboration between griot (storyteller) musicians Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet. The result is a uniquely uplifting combination, merging lesser-known, traditional instrumentals like balafon (xylophone) and bass ngoni (lute), with the kind of playful strings you might find in a deep grooving Salsoul disco track.  This album shows how different styles can enrich each others in magnificent ways, especially when operated by such virtuosos musicians.

Ladilikan, the new album by Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet, represents a landmark in cultural cross-fertilisation that both parties rank among the most satisfying musical experiences of their careers. David Harrington, Kronos’ artistic director and founder, enthuses that the album is “one of the most beautiful Kronos has ever done.” On first hearing their griot grooves being played by violins, viola and cello, Trio da Kali’s musical director Fodé Lassana Diabaté said, “This is going to be the best collaboration of my life.”
Da Kali means ‘to give a pledge’ – in this case to a musical heritage that dates back to the time of Sunjata Keita, founder of the great Mali empire in the early 13th century. The line-up of balafon (xylophone) bass ngoni (lute) and female singer is also based on ancient tradition, although the trio format and its repertoire is now an endangered species in contemporary Malian music.

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Ace Malian four-piece Songhoy Blues are readying their debut album ‘Music In Exile’. It’ll be out on Transgressive Records and comes preceded by the first single, ‘Al Hassidi Tere’. The album is co-produced by Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner and Marc-Antoine Moreau. The latter discovered the band in 2013 when scouting on behalf of Africa Express – Songhoy Blues later contributed a track to the Africa Express album, ‘Maison des Jeunes’.