Music for Mali – Malian Artists make a united call for Peace

Music has probably always been Mali’s most notable export – from the ancient tradition of its griot traditions, embodied in the “Epic of Sundiata” to the development of the blues and guitar music in the United States, Mali’s musical influence has been felt throughout the world. So perhaps it is not surprising that the current crisis which threatens to split the nation in two has provoked a response from the great and good of Malian music, including Oumou Sangare, Amadou and Mariam, Toumani Diabate, and hip-hop artist, Amkoullel.

The beauty of the music is doubly heightened by the possibility that such a rich musical and cultural heritage is under threat.  In the north of the country religious fundamentalist groups, in control since a coup and failed secessionist rebellion in 2012,  have banned the performance of music and threatened the destruction of notable ancients texts held in the private libraries of cities like Timbuktu.

The ensemble of artists have called their group “Voices United for Mali”; their song, simply called “Mali-ko” or peace is performed in a mix of French, Bambara and other Malian languages calls for a united Mali.

We’ve been lucky to get a translation of some of the lyrics in Bambara, generously provided by Amkoullel, perhaps Mali’s leading proponent of hip-hop music. The lyrics have been provided along with the most recent version of the song. You can read the translation below.

Enjoy and please do share it as widely as possible on behalf of all the artists. – See more at: