CMU Approved

Approved: Songhoy Blues

By | Published on Monday 20 April 2015

Songhoy Blues

Formed in the city of Gao in Mali, Songhoy Blues came to international attention after French music manager Marc-Antoine Moreau travelled to the country in September 2013. Scouting for the Africa Express project, which promotes collaboration between Western and African artists, Moreau invited the band to record a track with Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

The result, ‘Soubour’, featured on Africa Express compilation ‘Maison Des Jeunes’ later that year, and sparked a longer collaboration with Zinner, which saw him produce Songhoy Blues’ debut album ‘Music In Exile’, released through Transgressive in February this year. The title of the album is further explained in the documentary ‘They Will Have To Kill Us First’, about the ban on music in Northern Mali imposed by Islamic extremists who took over the area in 2012.

The band will be in the UK over the summer for various festival dates, including The Great Escape on 16 May, and a sold out show at London’s Village Underground on 28 May. They’ll return in October for a headline UK tour, finishing at Koko in London on 4 Nov. ‘Soubour’ is set for release as a single on 11 May. Watch the video, a live version featuring Zinner, here: