Sounds from the Sahel: Mali Song of the Week

Mariam Koné – In session with Spot on Mali Music

‘In session’ in this context refers to the idyllic scene of any Malian music recording: acoustically, in the shade of a tree in a quiet corner of Bamako. Simple surroundings, perfect for “floating guitar lines” as choreographed by Spot on Mali Music – a non-for-profit organisation charged with sharing vibrant, up-and-coming Malian musicians with the world (with help from the Danish Centre for Culture and Development). Its Facebook page is regularly updated with information and clips of new Malian artists, with links to recent tour appearances too.

This week’s featured artist is one of these “rising stars”. In the video below, playing her guitar in the shade of a tree, is Mariam Koné. Koné is a beautiful vocalist and talented musician who is from the city of Kati, the largest town of the Koulikoro Region, which is situated a mere 15km north of Mali’s capital. Koné’s rise to fame has seen her release an album and singles complete with professionally orchestrated music videos. Spot on Mali Music’s Facebook commentary notes her increasing popularity in Europe. However, the song chosen for this week – that is presented to the world untitled – emphasises how music is the life-blood of the country. Koné sits, temporarily stripped of her growing stardom, and is framed as ordinary yet exceptional , simple and beautiful – all at once.

Just another day in Bamako, I guess.

Mariam Koné – In  session with Spot on Mali Music

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