Fall in love with this energetic Afro-rock by Malian couple, Amadou & Mariam. In love at first clap-choir chant combination. That’s what the husband-wife duo did, fusing pop, reggae, R&B, rock, and some African blues into their love affair. Amadou & Mariam began their musical journey in 1985, leaving Mali for the Ivory Coast and its more accessible recording resources.
It has been a long trek to the top since then. Their uniquely west-meets-east sound made it to a residency at New York City’s Cooper Square Hotel, and after collaborations with Manu Chao in 2003, they finally grabbed the much needed attention of the mainstream flow. Then, their success set in a uphill rolling stone by earning the coveted official anthem for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
Uphill battles are in no way foreign to the couple who both lost their sight at an early age. In fact, the to-be spouses met at Mali’s Bamako Institute for the Young Blind where Mariam taught both dance and music. From there, as early as the cassette, they went on to create music and discovered hearing would be their most valuable sense anyways. Such sharpened talent in the fingers of such incredible people make esteem undeniable. And undeniably talented is what the pair is.
Amadou & Mariam’s newest EP, “Dougo Badia” features Santigold and surprising guest appearances by Cuban trumpets, Syrian violins, and arcane West African instruments. Take it all in, and expect their new album out March 26th via Because Music.