News

'They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music In Exile' Is Now Playing In Theaters

Photos from the U.S. premiere of 'They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music In Exile,' now playing in theaters.

They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music In Exile is in theaters today. Johanna Schwartz’s masterpiece of a documentary follows a group of Malian musicians and their fight to continue their life’s work in the face of Islamic extremists, who in 2012 imposed sharia law over a large swath of northern Mali and with it a ban on music.


The musicians we meet risk their lives to keep Mali’s musical tradition in tact.

There’s the four young men who make up Songhoy Blues, the sensational ‘desert punk and blues’ band that made history last year as the first African band signed to Atlantic Records since 1972.

The beloved “Nightingale of the North” Khaira Arby is a living legend who worked tirelessly to put on the first public concert in her hometown, Timbuktu, since the ban on music.

Fadimata 'Disco' Walet Oumar is a renowned singer who advocates for the Tuareg women of refugee camps in Burkina Faso.

We see the heartwrenching story of Tuareg guitarist Moussa Sidi and his return home from exile.

It’s an absolute honor to say Okayafrica is an executive producer on They Will Have To Kill Us First. Yesterday, we rang in the film’s release on Music Freedom Day with a special screening, Q&A, performance and all-around party at New York City’s NeueHouse. Songhoy Blues brought the house down and were joined on stage by their collaborator, Yeah Yeah YeahsNick Zinner, who did the film's original score. Malik Yoba, Julian Casablancas and Kim Cattrall were also in attendance.

Check out photos from the film's U.S. premiere in the gallery above.

'They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music In Exile,' released by BBC Worldwide North America, is now playing at Village East Cinema in New York City. Tickets can be purchased here

News Brief
Photo: Single cover art courtesy of Emerald East

Rema Welcomes 2021 With New Single 'Bounce'

The Don Jazzy produced track reminds us of why the Nigerian singer-songwriter is topping charts.

Nigerian golden boy Rema took his time on deciding how to start of 2021—and we're glad he did.

The afropop hitmaker is out with his first project of the year, "Bounce", after stunning fans with word of an upcoming album, and the cooks in this kitchen have not disappointed.

Keeping it in the Mavin Records family, legendary producer Don Jazzy sprinkles his magic on the track, while undoubtedly motivating the young singer-songwriter to be his best self. And with this track being like nothing we've heard from Rema before, one could say Jazzy succeeded. "Bounce", fast-paced and fierce, is a love song dedicated to bewitchingly beautiful and blessed bottoms. The candid declaration and hip shaking beat are a force duo and we can't help but love it.

Of the single and collaboration with head honcho Don Jazzy, Rema says, "This record was inspired by the luscious and magnificent body of the African woman. Furthermore, I'm really excited about this tune because it's my first single with the legendary Don Jazzy."

Honestly, when you start the year off with a banger, you get to make songs about butts.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Interview: Sincerely Ria Is Giving Guinean Fashion Its Flowers

And designer Mariama Diallo's NYFW debut celebrates the vibrancy and uniqueness of Guinea and its Fulani culture.