Video

DRC Street Musicians Staff Mbongwana International In Studio

Staff Mbongwana International, the new band from ex-Staff Benda Bilili leader Coco, preview rehearsal material and announce plans for a summer 2014 tour.


Staff Mbongwana International is the latest project to come out of the split of DRC street band Staff Benda Bilili, the subjects of a Cannes-selected documentary focusing on group members' physical disabilities and unbarred DIY approach to making music. Staff Bilili's Coco Yakala Ngambali and Theo Nzonza Nsutuvuidi front the new afrofunk-rock outfit along with strong support from percussionist Randy Makana Kalambayi, who contributed to Staff Benda Bilili's sophomore album Bouger Le Monde. We recently spotted the new Staff incarnation is back in the studio and already previewing new rumba-influenced material. The band will be touring their forthcoming 1 000 000 C'est quoi? later on this year. In the meantime, check out a full acoustic rehearsal of their latest effort "Mandongo" and take a look at some shots from day one of recording below. For more from Staff Mbnwana International, catch this rehearsal featuring all original material performed in Kinshasa over here.

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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