Elenco Artisti


An African Fairy Tale

Mali, late '60s

Amadou Bagayoko, guitarist of the pop group Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako, meets the singer Mariam Doumbia at the "Institute for blind young people" in Bamako, the capital of the country. They are both blind. The meeting proved decisive for the professional and private life of the two artists. The two become a fixed couple in all senses: they work together, get married, have 3 children, run around and perform throughout Africa, from Burkina Faso to the Ivory Coast where, in 1988, they produce five cassettes by Nigerian Aliyu Maikano Adamu. Their fame spreads throughout West Africa, where they are known as Amadou and Mariam, the blind couple from Mali.

In the 90s Amadou and Mariam cross the borders of the black continent and land in Europe, in the United Kingdom and especially in France, where they come into contact with other musical realities: American blues, Cuban and Indian rhythms, French folk music, all genres that enrich their baggage going to enrich their style, however already marked by blues atmospheres in the most introspective and funk in the most eventful.

Towards the end of the millennium Sonodisc and Polydor signed agreements with the two African artists, contracts that materialize with the publication of unreleased records and the remastering and reprinting of their first works. The duo enjoys great visibility when one of their songs, Mon Amour, Ma Cherie, is selected as the opening track of the Putumayo CD “Mali To Memphis: An African-American Odyssey”, a collection that includes sacred blues monsters like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker. After some time the couple manages to carve out an audience and a host of admirers, and in fact regularly enters the French charts with their records. But a new twist comes, really unexpected, thanks to Manu Chao, who is enchanted by the two African performers when he listens to their overwhelming song, Chaffeurs, present on the album Wati (2003). The former frontman of Mano Negra is so enthusiastic that he decides to personally produce the new album by Amadou and Mariam, released in 2004 under the title Dimanche à Bamako. The first single is La Realité, a song with a vague dance flavor of the seventies, but the songs in which the touch of the author of “Clandestino” are heard more are Sénégal Fast Food, Camions Sauvages and Politic Amagni, a brilliant piece of afro funky-rap from the politically explicit text.