Blur’s Damon Albarn, actor Idris Elba, producer Brian Eno and numerous African and western artists are gathering in Bamako, Mali to organize what could be the very first Africa Express album, says NME. Africa Express is a musical collective of artists from around the world whose goal is to raise awareness for both African social causes and the continent’s diverse musical landscape.
The news comes a couple of months after Islamist militants forcibly occupied Mali and banned secular music in an attempt to impose Sharia law. The new regime has enforced that only Koranic verses can be sung and any instruments used to play other forms of music will be destroyed.
“I keep coming back to Mali, through everything that’s happened,” Albarn told The Observer. “At times it has felt odd in Bamako, with the problems in the north, but I’m just trying to personally establish dialogue with the people in this country and the music.”