Having fled their hometown in Mali in the wake of a civil conflict, Songhoy Blues met as refugees in the country’s capital, Bamako, and were keen to recreate and preserve the sound of their northern homeland by forming a band. When Africa Express – a group of musicians and producers from Europe and the States – visited to work on a collaboration album they were immediately taken by the group. ‘Music in Exile’ was released in 2015, co-produced by Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Marc-Antoine Moreau of Amadou & Mariam and the album represents a heady mix of contemporary R&B and the traditional sounds of Mali’s Songhoy people. Paying homage to West African guitar heroes Baba Salah and Ali Farka Touré, Songhoy Blues blend the traditional and the modern, the homegrown and the foreign, the youthful and the ancient.
‘Talking Heads funky… growlingly bluesy… contemplative and hypnotic… A triumph,’ – The Guardian
‘Songhoy Blues‚ desert R&B is incredibly rousing and intense…conjuring a freedom and thrilling abandonment in its hypnotic shuffle boogie and punky blues rocks riffs.’ – Mojo