Tag Archives: Amadou & Mariam

Amadou and Mariam – Welcome to Mali : Mali Song of the Week

Welcome indeed! To what I feel is a new and improved Mali Interest Hub. I hope you will agree. Along with the obvious change in appearance, there has been some fundamental changes to the site’s functionality that will now cater for a whole range of different content and enable the ready exchange of news and ideas amongst readers. The two main changes are the site’s new indexing system – allowing readers to filter articles, resources, appeals, media and much more by different categories – and the introduction of the Mali Interest Forum – where users can generate and comment on threads about any topic of their choice.

Through all these chops, changes and additions the purpose of the Hub remains the same: “to raise awareness not only about the vibrant country that is Mali, but also the wide ranging issues that affect it.” A crucial part of achieving this goal has been to help bring together all who have an interest of any kind in the well-being and future of Mali and its people. Previously, we have focused on music and culture – starting with the celebration of the boldest and brightest facets of Malian life. And while the Song of the Week isn’t going anywhere, this new Mali Interest Hub will only thrive in the way it should with a steady stream of content. With this, we need your help. It will become what we make of it. Has the NGO you work for or support published a new report? Have you seen a petition circulating online? Will you be travelling to Mali and need some advice? Are you already there and need a lift? Is there an event in Parliament or is Vieux Farka Toure playing your home town? The Hub has a great new potential to connect all who love Mali in a new and exciting way, and therefore we would simply love to hear from you. Tell us what’s going on.

Over the course of the next few weeks you will see a whole load of new and hopefully interesting content make its way onto the site. If during this period you begin receiving hundreds of email notifications please let me know and please accept my apologies – there are still a few tiny issues to iron out. But on the whole, I’m pretty chuffed with the results so far – and the fun has only just begun.

Thanks for sticking with us. Here’s to the future. “I ni ce!”

Amadou & Mariam – Welcome to Mali 

 

Sam Garbett is Public Affairs Coordinator for the Mali Development Group – www.malidg.org.uk.

To get in touch with Sam for further information he’d be happy to hear from you at sam.garbett@malidg.org.uk. Any comments and ideas for improving the Hub are especially welcome. We all look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for tuning in.

The Mali Interest Hub is an initiative run by the Mali Development Group, supported by the Alliance for Mali.

Amadou & Mariam – Se Te Djon Ye : Mali Song of the Week

 ‘Se Te Djon Ye’ starts like a long lost Metallica song. A silky guitar running free, in a distinctive steady and folksy manner. Then that voice appears – not Metallica then. Or at least not just Metallica. Not entirely prepared to abandon my instinct, I consider that this is perhaps a new classic; a collaboration between a previously unknown African artist and the US heavy metal legends? Nope. Its Amadou & Mariam from start to finish. If I was ever surprised I should be equally ashamed.

Like the previous Amadou & Mariam song to make it onto the Hub – ‘Dougou Badia’ – this is may be another “chuffing great masterstroke of genre-less genre mixing“. But  ‘Se Te Djon Ye’ is not genre-less (whatever that means). It is in fact a hint of where Amadou & Mariam began their on their journey to international acclaim. Having first released ‘Se Te Djon Ye’ in 1996 (some 17 years before ‘Dougou Badia’) its is an example of the couple’s very earliest commercial work; coming from a group of songs created and released on audio cassette solely for a domestic and African audience. The lead up to and “international break-through” success with the album Sou Ni Tilé in 1999 encouraged them to rediscover some of their earlier work. ‘Se Te Djon Ye’ became the title track on an album with a whole range of intriguing clues to the duo’s earliest influences and harks to a period of their artistry which was not created with a global audience immediately in mind.

Perhaps the influence of Metallica and other American and European rock bands did come in to play in these early days. But the 1990s was an age of learning for the Western world too. A well-told story is the one of the ‘discovery’ of Ali Farka Toure in 1993/94. More accurately: his arrival on the world music scene forced a realisation in the US that blues wasn’t entirely their invention, only a style borrowed and redeveloped. And so once again here, Amadou & Mariam’s piece points to the complex world of flowing and interconnected musical expansion which is so evident and enjoyed in the music of this west African country.

 

 

Amadou & Mariam – Se Te Djon Ye 

 

Sam Garbett is Public Affairs Coordinator for the Mali Development Group – www.malidg.org.uk.

To get in touch with Sam for further information he’d be happy to hear from you at sam.garbett@malidg.org.uk. Any comments and ideas for improving the Hub are especially welcome. We all look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for tuning in.

The Mali Interest Hub is an initiative run by the Mali Development Group, supported by the Alliance for Mali.

Sounds from the Sahel: Mali Song of the Week

Amadou & Mariam feat. Santigold – Dougou Badia

This week sees the return of Amadou and Mariam to the Hub, after they returned to the UK earlier this summer as a part of their European festival tour. Playing at Boomtown Festival in August, the Financial Times – of all places – put together a fantastic review of their set. As Toumani and Sidiki a couple of weekends ago, Amadou and Mariam left their audience “enchanted” – a wholly appopriate word to describe the effects of mesmerising guitar riffs and those charateristically “hypnotic rhythms”.

The diversity of Amadou and Mariam’s music is possibility their greatest defining feature. Honigmann, the Financial Times reviewer, picks up on this too; spotting elements of reggae, rock,  and Pink Floyd-y ‘space rock’ in their set. The deployment of drumming, keys, vocals, guitars, even their stage presence and choreography are always being tinkered, integrated added to the party. For example, this week’s Song of the Week features American singer Santigold – herself being cited as having everyone from M.I.A to Fela Kuti as influences. Sitting perfectly on top of a heavier-than-usual guitar track they make it work. Just like magic.

Another wonderful part of what makes Amadou and Mariam is their keen sence of moral and political leadership. Their music does not stand alone from the vibrant society they stirred from. The day after their stupendous Boomtown Concert their Facebook page posted another set of photos in their #SHAREHUMANITY campaign – bringing the good work of humaniatarians to their fans attention. This leadership and sense of societal responsibility is found through all Malian music and is just another reason we find it so special.

 

 

Amadou & Mariam feat. Santigold – Dougou Badia

Sam Garbett is Public Affairs Coordinator for the Mali Development Group – www.malidg.org.uk.

To get in touch with Sam for further information he’d be happy to hear from you at sam.garbett@malidg.org.uk. Any comments and ideas for improving the Hub are especially welcome. We all look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for tuning in.

The Mali Interest Hub is an initiative run by the Mali Development Group, supported by the Alliance for Mali.

Sounds from the Sahel: Mali Song of the Week

Amadou & Mariam – Ce N’est Pas Bon (JD Twitch Edit)

Here at the Hub we have frequently posted Mali’s most famous and successful musicians. We try and remain up to date with the various up-and-coming artists and stay on top of all the various collaborations that Malian musicians are participating in. Whether taking full credit for the inspiration for blues and country or taking the world of hip-hop by storm, African music has reached celebrity status on a global scale – with African musicians frequently rubbing shoulders with some of the most influential and connected artists the planet has to offer. Inevitably, in the age of digitalised music where everyone seems to be (or at least know) a DJ, African music has burst out of  middle-class C.D collections and has finally found its way into the iPods, headphones, bars and nightclubs of mainstream Western society.

So, in another Mali Song of the Week first here is a re-worked version of Amadou & Mariam’s Ce N’est Pas Bon, edited by one half of Glaswegian duo ‘Optimo‘ – Keith McIvor (AKA JD Twitch). The original is a decent enough song on its own. However after listening to the song after McIvor has worked his magic on it – tweaking the tempo and adding  a thumping drum beat – its hard to go back. Emphasising the electro-xylophone loop from the original, playing down the guitar and giving Amadou & Mariam’s exemplary vocals pride-of-place, JD Twitch allows the song to raise its game and become an excellent party piece.  Small changes, expertly carried out.

Another example of the enduring versatility and popularity of Malian music.

Amadou & Mariam – Ce N’est Pas Bon (JD Twitch edit)