Even though its members are originally from Timbuktu, Mali, the band formed in the city of Bamako after they were displaced from their homes in 2012 during a civil conflict. They decided to start a band to play music for their fellow refugees. In 2015, Songhoy Blues released their debut album, Music In Exile. The new album, Résistance, released on June 16th via Fat Possum Records, shows the bands maturity as artists and melds their vast traditional sounds with the elements of soul, R&B, hip-hop, and rock. The album is full of imagery that takes a listener through the African places built on what feels like foreign tradition, but can be as known to the rest of the world as a stroll down their very own community streets. The album takes the energy of the art and culture and combines it with the groove to make the energy move with its creators and listeners alike. There is even a guest appearance from Iggy Pop to add to the uniqueness of the stories being told.
On Friday October 6th at 8:00 P.M., Songhoy Blues will bring this energy and their musical bridge to Madison at The Sett, Union South on the campus of the University of Wisconsin – Madison. I had the opportunity to talk briefly with lead vocalist, Aliou Touré about what the people in attendance are in for at this upcoming event. We spoke about the energy, and the power of of music and how traveling the world has opened up so many eyes; the band, the listener come and go sometimes with different views and feelings than when the day started. We got into the new album and how the vibes may at first sound like they come from so far away, the meanings, similarities and differences are universal.