Sight was never useful to crafting aural pleasure – Stevie Wonder, anyone? Afrorock couple Amadou & Mariam both lost their sight at an early age, and rather serendipitously met each other at an institute for the blind where the feminine half of the duo once taught dance and music.
The Malian couple left their native Mali in 1985 for the Ivory Coast to pursue their music dreams and it has been a long journey for them since. Having earned the coveted honour of recording the official anthem of 2006’s World Cup in Germany, their profile has only risen further up the hip ladder. Like TV on the Radio’s collaboration with Tinariwen before, world music has gotten the attention of alt-musicians.
‘Dougou Badia’ off their upcoming LP Folila of the same name is motherland heroes finally meeting their exodus children – collaborating with Brooklyn reigning queen of indie pop Santigold and also Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner somewhere in the production. As Mariam and Santi spar vocally, Zinner provides them with electric guitar riffs like it were a YYYs joint. It’s world music for the Pitchfork crowd.
Folila will be released on 2 April. Get world weary at amadou-mariam.com.