Songhoy Blues have shared the video for Badala, taken from their recent third album, Optimisme, which was released via Transgressive Records in October to much acclaim.
Conceived by the band & directed by previous collaborator Mr. Haidara, the video was shot on location in Bamako, Mali and features dancers & models from the local scene, plus a biker gang (Motards Team Bamako), who literally steal the show..
Talking about Badala, the incendiary opening track from the album, Garba Touré from the band said: “’Badala” is a video that we have dedicated to the freedom and validation of the young. We encourage you to watch the video and share your experiences of freedom and validation in 2020 to inspire others”
Arguably one of the most successful and exciting bands to emerge from Africa in recent years, their new 11-song, multilingual album marks a real musical breakthrough. Musically harder, steeped in deep traditions of classic Malian music and desert blues and fused with an urgent and super-charged sound of now, the album was produced by Matt Sweeney of beloved indie rockers Chavez, who’s worked with a host of celebrated artists including Johnny Cash, Run the Jewels, El-P, Cat Power and Will Oldham, and recorded & mixed by Daniel Schlett (The War on Drugs, Modest Mouse, Ghostface Killah) in Brooklyn, NY.
Formed almost ten years ago, born from civil war and a country divided by ideology, Songhoy Blues have travelled a long way, in every sense. Surely one of the greatest live bands on the planet, their dynamic and tenaciously unique style has enthralled audiences across the spectrum, bringing their musical culture to people across the globe.
First attracting the attention of Damon Albarn’s Africa Express and label Transgressive from their performance on the acclaimed ‘Maison Des Jeunes’ record, the band went into the studio with Nick Zinner producing their debut LP, ‘Music in Exile’, beginning a touring cycle that soon took them from the 80 capacity Servants Jazz Quarters in Dalston to Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage and the Royal Albert Hall. Their second album, ‘Résistance’, produced by Neil Comber (MIA, Gengahr), broadened the palette sonically and celebrated its diversity featuring the likes of Iggy Pop and Elf Kid.
Appearing in They Will Have To Kill Us First, an award-winning documentary film centred around the situation in Mali, acting as spokespersons for WaterAID, performing at the UN Climate Action Summit, forming a key part of The Imperial War Museum’s “Culture Under Attack”, performing a series-stealing show at the Nile Rodgers curated Meltdown Festival at London’s South Bank in 2019 and performing in the BBC’s “Noughts And Crosses” show, they are always working, campaigning and, bringing joy and pointing to salvation through their music.
Praise for Optimisme:
An adrenalin rush to listen to – 4/5 Mojo
Joyous protest music – 5/5 Record Collector
Effervescent crusading third – 9/10 Uncut
“Some of the most pissed-off protest rock right now is coming from outside the United States. Case in point: Malian band Songhoy Blues…” – Rolling Stone
An essential album that gets better with every listen – 9/10 Classic Rock
“Songhoy Blues produce some of the raunchiest, edgiest rock to come out of Africa…their energetic live sound has finally been captured on tape.” – Guitar World
Watch the video for ‘Badala’ here: