In October 2013, BBC Radio 6 presenter Gemma Cairney journeyed to Mali to find out how the country’s diverse music scenes were evolving in light of the ban on music. Gemma stopped by the temporary Africa Express Headquarters, the Maison des Jeunes studio in Bamako and spoke to Pauli the PSM, Damon Albarn and many more.
Find out more about ‘Mali Music’ here, and stream parts 1 and 2 of the documentary below.
Baaba Maal talks about his Africa Express playlist
Click read more for comments on each track
“Africa Express came in their dozens to Lagos and lit a fire of energy, hope, union and great music. It was a crazy experience!”
“Many western musicians talk about wanting to work with African musicians but more often than not, it doesn’t happen. Africa Express are different though, they actually make it happen. It’s not just talk, it’s action”
Toumani’s playlist inspired by his Africa Express collaborations
“Africa Express was fantastic experience for me. I was able to play my own style of music with musicians from completely different genres of music, from hip hop, electronic and dance. It was incredible to have this experience live on stage and share the music with a different audience. An audience that wouldn’t usually listen to music from Africa.”
“This trip’s what got me interested in the sound of Afrobeat” – Bashy in Lagos
Here are some Africa Express influenced tracks that Bashy thinks you should hear:
Romeo Stodart(Magic Numbers):
“It’s Time For African Guitar… hope you guys like. Rx”
“For me, Africa Express is a dream come true. I love to collaborate and improvise and I never dreamt that I’d be up onstage with some of these artists”
Some tunes Shlo heard aboard the Africa Express:
Part of the spontaneous Africa Express jam session at the London Koko for 2008 BBC Electric Proms.
Part of the spontaneous Africa Express jam session at the London Koko for 2008 BBC Electric Proms. This is a cover of the Fela Kuti track, featuring Kano and Rosie Wilson amongst many others.