Album:Welcome To Mali
You may have heard of Amadou & Mariam as "the blind couple from Mali". They have been recording since the 90s but became more popular after World Circuit/Nonesuch released the 2008 album Welcome To Mali in the US. They now tour the annual festival circuit. Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia met in 1976 at Mali's Institute for the Young Blind. Amadou lost his sight due to cataracts. Mariam lost her sight as a child due to measles. Amadou was already an experienced musician when they met. They married in 1980 and started performing together. They moved to the Ivory Coast and performed at African music festivals. They moved to Paris in 1996 and signed with Polygram's EmArcy label. They had success in France and they worked with Latin music star Manu Chao on the 2004 album Dimanche a Bamako. Things picked up when they participated in Blur lead singer Damon Albarn's Africa Express concert. This got the attention of World Circuit Records owner Nick Gold. He signed Amadou & Mariam and Albarn produced the 2008 CD Welcome To Mali. Sabali was the lead single. They made their US TV debut on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The album did well considering that this will never be mainstream music. But they have mixed traditional Mali music with electronic music techniques. An album of Amadou & Mariam remixes was released in 2011. Their latest CD Folila was released in 2012 and it featured a guest appearance by Santigold. They toured over the summer and it might be time to work on a new album. Here's the video for Sabali by Amadou & Mariam.