Recommended Mali music for airplay

1 March 2013

New CD in support of Mali musicians

Freemuse has supported Clermont Music’s production of a new CD with music which was recorded at the Festival au Désert in Timbuktu, Mali. Clermont Music supports the mission of the Festival au Désert and manages and releases recordings primarily from the western Sahara of Africa.

The official release date for the CD is on 19 March 2013, but already now, radio broadcasters within Europe or the US can have promotion copy sent by post, or Freemuse can e-mail download-links to three music of the audiofiles from the CD-album (for use in radio programmes only).

In short: if you are a radio producer who would like to play this music on air, please contact Freemuse.

You can listen to an album preview on


Angelique Kidjo

“Music in itself is the expression of freedom, and in some parts of the world, the joy and liberty it invokes are unbearable. It is painful to think that in northern Mali, the land of Ali Farka Touré, and a region some believe is the birthplace of the blues, music is being completely silenced by militants who adhere to strict Islamic laws.”
Angelique Kidjo – in The New York Times on 30 November 2012.

‘Mali-ko’ (Peace)

In response to the situation in northern Mali, the 30-year-old singer Fatoumata Diawara gathered together 37 of Mali’s most renowned musicians — including Toumani Diabaté, Habib Koité, and Oumou Sangaré — in a studio in Bamako in January 2013 to record a song and video calling for peace.

The song’s lyrics includes this line: “Never have I seen such desolation. They want to impose Sharia law on us. Tell the north that our Mali is one nation, indivisible.”

Listen to the report by PRI The World’s Marco Werman from 15 January 2013 — about the song ‘Maliko’, including an interview with Fatoumata Diawara:

PRI’s The World: Fatoumata Diawara Sings for Peace and the Emancipation of Women in Mali

“The Malian people have lost hope in politics. But music has always brought hope in Mali. Music has always been strong and spiritual, and has had a very important role in the country, so when it comes to the current situation, people are looking up to musicians for a sense of direction…”

Fatoumata Diawara

BBC Newsnight – 26 January 2013:
Fatoumata Diawara – Mali Special

AFP video interview with Fatoumata Diawara (in French language)

The Guardian – 18 January 2013:
Fatoumata Diawara gathers Malian supergroup to record peace song
Group calling themselves Voices United for Mali, featuring Amadou and Mariam, Oumou Sangaré, Bassekou Kouyaté, Vieux Farka Touré, Toumani Diabaté and many others, release song called Peace in response to country’s troubles



Tiken Jah Fakoly: ‘An Ka Wili’

“I’ve released this single to support Mali in its time of need,” afro-reggae star Tiken Jah Fakoly, himself no stranger to persecution and war, both of which have ravaged his native Ivory Coast, told Jeune Afrique.

He recorded ‘An Ka Wili’, which means “Mobilisation and Galvanisation” in Bambara and released it just after New Year’s Day 2013. It was given away for free in Mali.

“The single is a call for general mobilisation,” he explained: “Mali has known great men, great empires and it is unimaginable to allow the country to be cut in two as it is today. Malians must count first and foremost on their own forces.”



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