Africa Beats – Songhoy Blues

When Islamist militants captured Timbuktu and banned secular music, the members of Songhoy Blues felt they had no choice but to leave their homes in the north and head south to the Malian capital, Bamako. They were traumatised by having to leave behind loved ones, but they also had some luck. British musician Damon Albarn and his Africa Express collective went to Mali in a gesture of solidarity, and Songhoy Blues was one of the bands they recorded for their Maison des Jeunes album. As a result, the desert band’s international career has taken off and they have played at several European festivals.

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