As the fighting in Mali intensifies between the national army and Islamist militants who have occupied the North, Malian musicians have joined together to record a track in an act of musical solidarity.
Whether its through the hip-hop of Amkoullel, the Touareg blues of Bombino or the rocking ngoni of Bassekou Kouyaté, music is already proving to be an extremely commanding tool in the battle against extremism in Mali and now a host of the country’s top musicians have recorded the track ‘Maliko’ (Peace) in the capital, Bamako.
Artists featured included Songlines Music Awards 2012 Newcomer, Fatoumata Diawara; Amadou & Mariam; Khaira Arby; Kasse Mady Diabaté; Vieux Farka Touré; Toumani Diabaté; Djelimadi Tounkara; Amakoullel; Oumou Sangaré, Habib Koité and Ivory Coast’s Tiken Jag Fakoly.
On Thursday Glastonbury Festival (June 26-30) announced that the first officially confirmed act is to be Mali’s Rokia Traoré, who will one of three Malian acts to open each day at the Pyramid Stage. The festival’s co-organiser Emily Eavis commented; ‘given the situation in Mali at the moment, it felt particularly important to show some solidarity,’ she added ‘we want to stay out of the politics, but if we can give musicians a platform we will always do that.’
Video for ‘Maliko’ below
Read more about the Mali crisis in our November/December 2012 issue (#88) or about Bassekou Kouyaté’s new album recorded during the coup in our January/February 2013 issue (#89).