for Amadou and Mariam, Sunday in Luxey is political day

Tinder: This is due to the simplicity of the messages, the melodies which are very simple and which hang very easily. We go to the essentials, we are Africans, Bambaras.

Mariam: So our music is African with blues and rock influences.

Aren’t you griots? What is your role as singers?

A. and M.: No, we are not saying the same thing. With us, the griots sing their praises, to say that…

Tinder: This is due to the simplicity of the messages, the melodies which are very simple and which hang very easily. We go to the essentials, we are Africans, Bambaras.

Mariam: So our music is African with blues and rock influences.

Aren’t you griots? What is your role as singers?

A. and M.: No, we are not saying the same thing. Here at home, the griots sing in praise, to say that we are descendants of someone. Our message is a message of love, understanding, peace, justice. We make popular posts.

There is also a political side to many of your songs. We think of “It’s not good”, where you rebuke “hypocrisy in politics, injustice in politics, crooks in politics”. How do you explain this gift of conveying simple political messages that everyone can understand?

A. and M.: In general, we address society, and the politicians come from there. So we are taking this opportunity to send messages that can benefit the people. They want honest people without demagoguery. We condemn things, but not as political activists.

What is your relationship today with your country, Mali, and why did you leave it for Côte d’Ivoire in 1986? Was it too difficult to make music there?

A. and M.: No, but at that time there were not many studios, producers and distributors in Mali. Côte d’Ivoire was a crossroads, everyone went there, like Salif Keïta, to rest his soul, to find produce. We left Côte d’Ivoire in 1991 to return to Mali until 1994. But then we went to France.

How do you rate the relations between France and Mali as musicians?

A. and M.: We have always sung peace and solidarity between people. We want everyone to work hand in hand to be able to understand each other. We are the same, our interests cannot work without an agreement. Let everyone take care and make peace.

Are you conscious of embodying many things to your audience? An international success, to have overcome a handicap, to have succeeded in making an entire country and a continent shine…

Tinder: Yes. Since the first Victoires de la Musique, we sing to be spokespersons, to try to send messages. We will talk about Mali, but also about Africa. We have a piece that says that in Africa there is not only war, there is solidarity. At the end of Victoires de la Musique, many Africans called us to tell us that we were not only playing for Malians, but for the whole continent. That’s why we did almost all the big international festivals.

You went to Glastonbury, played the biggest, searched festivals around the world, met Stevie Wonder and then Barack Obama at the Nobel Peace Prize concert. What are your motives for continuing?

A. and M.: We have been nominated for the Grammy Awards three times, we have yet to win it. And apart from that, we always want to increase our popularity and develop in the humanitarian field.

A way to give back to your audience what they brought you?

A. and M.: Yes, it is a way of giving back what the public has given us in popularity. We use it to help people. We are ambassadors for the World Food Program and the Union Against Hunger, ambassadors for many causes. Our goal is to raise awareness of making gestures for humanity.

You talked about increasing your popularity. Maybe with a new album?

A. and M.: We are already in the recording studio, it will be released in 2023. We are waiting until the last minute after mixing to name the album. At the moment we have one or two guests on the one we get to see.

What do you think about the music of your son, Sam, who uses rap to talk about politics?

A. and M.: The children begin with the rap. It’s a tough message. We say the same thing, but we don’t have the same way of saying it. It’s easier with a message that isn’t aimed at anyone, we don’t target people, we target causes. Sam has chosen his path, and it’s good that there is some diversity. We encourage it, we are proud.

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