The story of Songhoy Blues is that of a road – from escaping bullets to performing at the most famous music venue in the world.
In 2012 Aliou, Oumar and Garba ran away from North Mali where the Islamic extremists installed a regime and under gunpoint declared playing music to be forbidden. After the escape they found refuge in the southern city of Bamako, where they were joined by the drummer, Nathanael – and so the Songhoy Blues were born.
Fast their blend of blues and rock, with resounding guitar energy intertwined with traditional Malian music and Aliou’s hypnotic voice gave them the raise to extreme popularity in their motherland.
One day the city was visited by “strangers from the West”, amongst them the famous musician and producer Brian Eno, Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist) and Damon Albarn (the founder of such bands as Blur and Gorillaz). The impression which Sonhoy Blues left on them was of such a high level that in space of a couple of months they started to perform around the world; supporting Damon Albarn at the iconic Royal Albert Hall in London, at the legendary Glastonbury Festival on at the South by Southwest Festival in the States.
They Will Have to Kill us First – a documentary film about the exiled Malian musicians will have its Polish premiere at our festival.