The journey of Songhoy Blues is one of those that makes you say “what a life”. Back in 2012, the MNLA (the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad) occupied the north of Mali, in turn flipping the lives of its citizens upside down. This caused band frontman, Gabra Touré, to venture to Bamako where he and the other members of Songhoy Blues formed their band.

At first, music was an escape from the world around them, but as time went on it became not just a dream but the only goal. You know how this story goes: band goes on to record a debut album that’s a massive success and takes them around the world. But that’s just the thing, it might be a typical story to some, but for Songhoy Blues it blew their minds and propelled them into a universe that was past their wildest of dreams. So what does the band do next? They regroup to make a second album so they can tour the world again. Spreading their joy, their love for music and life, everywhere they can.

For the latest edition of the 405 Exchange podcast, Ken Grand-Pierre caught up with Gabra and drummer Nathanael Dembélé about bringing life onto the stage, Africa Express, why performing live is more fulfilling than being in the studio, and loads more. Check out their conversation below, along with the video for 'Bamako'.

“We have more to share together, then the bullshit that divides us.”

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