Happy Friday Lovely Peeps,
The weekend is nigh! I hope you’ve all got a good weekend planned ahead of you.
Now I may be jumping on the band wagon a little late here, as from what I can gather from friends and music blogs, Songhoy Blues, an incredible blues band from Mali, have been around for a good few years now and have already played at WOMAD Festival and Live on Later with Jools Holland. However, I only heard of them for the first time yesterday during Lauren Laverne’s excellent 6 Music radio show where they performed 2 tracks live off of their debut album, Music in Exlile, and I was blown away. So much so that I had to share some of their music with you. If like me you haven’t heard of them before, then you are in for a treat. They are a band that I think the music industry has been yearning for.
Made up of 4 outward-looking and exuberant young musicians from Timbuktu and Gao in Mali, West Africa, Songhoy Blues is a band that has been born out of the repression of the Songhoy people who were forced to flee their homes and seek refuge in Bamako, South Mali during the occupation of Islamic Rebel Groups in the north between 2012 and 13. It was here that they first began playing music to uplift their fellow refugees and to celebrate and speak out about their displaced culture and people.
Their talent for infusing the traditional music of their people with modern day blues was soon picked up by Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who recorded a song with them on behalf of Africa Express called ‘Soubour’ which means ‘patience’ – a song referencing the refugees of Mali. This song appeared as the opening track on Africa Express’ album Maison des Jeunes which in turn led to the band being invited to the UK to perform at the albums launch party.
For further reading on Songhoy Blues history please click here.
What strikes me the most about Songhoy Blues is not just their talent for blues music but mainly the stories their songs have to tell. Their is such a passion behind their lyrics and the history behind the bands formation. It is an incredible story.
I always feel that music that is born this way, from truth, carries with it something great. Take Nina Simone for example – her music is timeless and I feel that it is rare in this day and age to find musicians or bands that carry that same sense of importance. Songhoy Blues represent so much more than just a good blues band. They represent hope for their people, hope for a country that has seen so much pain and conflict, hope to inspire the next generation to bring about change.
I hope you enjoy listening to their music as much as I have.
Have a fantastic weekend peeps and we shall see you on the flip side.