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'They Will Have To Kill Us First' Malian Music Documentary Is Headed To U.S. Theaters

Malian music documentary 'They Will Have To Kill Us First' is slated for a U.S. theatrical release this March and April.

Songhoy Blues. Courtesy of They Will Have To Kill Us First


They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music In Exile is officially slated for a U.S. theatrical release.

The feature-length documentary, directed by Johanna Schwartz, follows a group of musicians in Mali in the wake of the 2012 jihadist takeover and subsequent banning of music. As explained in a synopsis for the film: "Music, one of the most important forms of communication in Mali, disappeared overnight in 2012 when Islamic extremists groups rose up to capture an area the size of the UK and France combined. But rather than lay down their instruments, Mali’s musicians fought back."

The film, which Okayafrica is one of the executive producers on, follows the stories of recent breakout stars Songhoy Blues along with Malian musicians Khaira Arby, Moussa Sidi and Fadimata "Disco" Walet Oumar.

BBC Worldwide North America is releasing They Will Have To Kill Us First this March and April in the U.S., with an official release coinciding with Music Freedom Day on March 3. The film opens at New York City’s Village East Cinema on March 4 before heading to L.A. and other markets on April 1.

A soundtrack for the film is also out March 4 on Knitting Factory Records. Composed by Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the OST features contributions by Songhoy Blues, the late Malian legend Ali Farka Touré and his son Vieux Farka Touré, Toumani Diabaté, Bombino and more.

Head here for ticket information and keep up with 'They Will Have To Kill Us First' on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram.

Music

The 20 Essential Olamide Songs

We dive into the Nigreian star's discography to bring you the 20 Essential Olamide Songs.

Let's get something clear: no Afropop act outdid Olamide in the 2010s, and even fewer can claim to match the sheer weight of his cultural influence. By all metrics, the 31-year-old musician reigned supreme over the sonic zeitgeist of the last decade, musically encapsulating, more than anyone, Nigerian music's trudge from fascination with Western-tinged music to the mass appeal of afrobeats.

Rising from Bariga, Baddo first punctured mainstream consciousness with his belligerent bars that positioned him as an upstart with a point to prove before going on to hold the gaze of a generation with anthemic offerings that distilled conceptual narratives on hedonism, life in Lagos, and forces that moved culture into multiple hits singles.

All this was done while maintaining a level of output that is unprecedented in Nigerian pop. From 2011 to 2017, Olamide put out at least one project every year while guesting on an uncountable number of songs that lasered his identity on contemporary Nigerian popular culture and ensured his music was always on rotation.

Carpe Diem, his 2020 album, marked the next step in the evolutionary arc of Olamide's career, easing him into elder statesman territory musically – and providing further proof of what a gifted musician Olamide is.

In honor of Olamide's career, we delved into his discography to bring you The 20 Essential Olamide Songs.

This list is in no particular order.

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