News

Supreme Talent Show's Bamako Sound System Block Party Music

Supreme Talent Show blend pounding electronic beats with traditional Malian rhythms in their Balani Show-influenced 'Danbe' LP.


Supreme Talent Show is a Malian duo formed by Mèlékè Thiathio and MC Waraba that combines influences from Bamako's Balani Shows, or sound system block parties, into their own highly-energetic blend. As Sahel Sounds has explored in-depth, Balani Shows originated out of late 90s Bamako street celebrations in which DJs began opting for large sound systems and cassettes in favor of traditional Balafon musicians. Those parties birthed the 'Balani Show' or 'Ambience' style, an urban genre fusing pounding electronic beats with traditional Balafon rhythms, as well as strains of coupé décalé, kuduro and hip-hop.

Supreme Talent Show's first official release, the Danbe LP, is a contemporary progression of that Balani Show sound, delivering 14 tracks that mix "cut up samples of traditional Baliphones, frenetic djembes, ... rapid fire talking drums" and Bambara rapping into hypnotizing Malian dance productions. Danbe is available now in digital format and limited edition cassette through Sahel Sounds' bandcamp. For more, revisit last year's Balani Show Super Hits compilation. Stream Supreme Talent Show's album in its entirety below.

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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