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This Incredible Burkina Faso Album Is Nominated For Two Grammy Awards

Bobo Yéyé: Belle Époque in Upper Volta, an album of vintage Burkinabe classics is up for a Grammy.

The nominees for the 60th Annual Grammy Awards were announced today.

Despite the Grammys still having no love for afrobeats, there's one gem of an album that got two nominations for 2018: Bobo Yéyé: Belle Époque in Upper Volta.


Bobo Yéyé is a compilation that rounds up several spell-binding tracks from 1970s Burkina Faso.

Before Thomas Sankara, Burkina Faso was The Republic of Upper Volta. During a period of cultural revolution in the '60s and '70s, the nation witnessed an explosion of new bands and sounds across its large cities.

Centered around the cultural capital of Bobo-Dioulasso, the compilation rounds up several rare and spell-binding tracks from the notable names of the era like Volta Jazz, Dafra Star, Echo Del Africa, and Les Imbattables Léopards.

Bobo Yéyé: Belle Époque in Upper Volta, which was released as a 3-disc, 37-song box set, is nominated at the 2018 Grammys for Best Historical Album and Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package.

We premiered Volta Jazz's "Wêrê Wêrê Magne," which plays like a marriage between Burkina Faso and Cuba, earlier this year, listen to it above.

Other notable Grammy nomees are Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Tinariwen in the (still questionable) World Music category.

Let's hope the Grammys get it together and recognize Wizkid, Davido, Sarkodie, Tiwa and all soon.

Until then, we'll be rooting for this Burkinabé gem.

Check out 9 Vintage African Records You Need In Your Life.

Interview

Amadou & Mariam Forever

We talk to the legendary Malian duo about their rich past, songwriting process and their advice for young African artists with disabilities.

Amadou & Mariam don't require an introduction.

The couple has been making Afro-blues music for over 35 years, drawing inspiration from their home of Mali, for over 35 years.

Their 1999 albumSou Ni Tilé sold 100,000 copies. In 2005, their album Dimanche à Bamako won the French Victoire de la Musique prize for Best World Music Album of the year and the BBC Radio 3 Award for Africa. It also went platinum in France after selling over 300,000 copies. The duo have performed with U2, Coldplay, Blur and many others.

We caught up with them below for a conversation about their rich past, their songwriting process and their advice for young African artists with disabilities, ahead of the duo's performance at the upcoming London Jazz Festival 2021.

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