Booktunes Interview with Amadou and Mariam

Booktunes is a new website we feel is worthy of your attention. It is an infant idea of Erik de Loor of Amsterdam, and it makes the link between books and the music that surrounds them.

It is said that 90% of success is turning up, and here’s a small anecdote to support that idea. We recently got an email from Erik at Booktunes to request a review copy of Away From the Light of Day as he felt it was something that would fit nicely on the site. We replied saying we were happy to oblige, then Erik rang through saying that he’d seen the London launch event publicised and he was going to jump on a plane or train and come over to see it. Impressed by his dedication we managed to find an interview slot for him with Amadou and Mariam. Here was a young man backing his idea own idea for a new website and on the strength of a phone call and a dedicated manner, he was slotted in between two BBC interviews and one with the Sunday Times. He was also the only interviewer of the day to get Amadou to open up on his love of the Bee Gees.

Erik has recently posted the interview and a selection of 21 tunes that accompany the reading of the book. It’s a neat idea. Here’s a small extract from the interview. Follow the link below to see the whole of it and to read/download Erik’s accompanying music.

Booktunes: Which songs by Amadou & Mariam would serve as a soundtrack to Away From the Light of Day? Which songs illustrate the story being told in this biography?

Amadou & Mariam: ‘À chacun son problème’, ‘La Realité’ and ‘Terre La Sebin’.

BT: What about songs by other artists?

Amadou: ‘Staying Alive’ by the Bee Gees really inspired me, I love the way they use harmony in their songs. ‘Money’ by Pink Floyd also really helped us. And we both love Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’.

BT: Are there any other African artists we should listen to when trying to get deeper into your story?

A: Tabu Ley Rochereau with his ‘Pitié’ and Youssou N’Dour’s ‘Immigrés’ are both favourites.

BT: And what about you Mariam, in Away From the Light of Day you refer to French music. Which songs in particular?

M: ‘Pendant les Vacances’ by Sheila and Nana Mouskouri’s ‘Soleil Soleil’. Ah, I shouldn’t forget Sebastian Iradier with ‘La Paloma’.

BT: James Brown?

A: Yeah before I started playing with Les Ambassadeurs (du Motel de Bamako) I played in a group from Koutiala called Koulistar. That was definitely my James Brown period. ‘Popcorn’.

Soon you will start working on the new album. Do you have plans on working with any of your favourite artists?

A&M: It’s a work in progress…

Click here to read more of the interview on the Booktunes website and the list of accompanying tunes.

Click here for more details on Away From the Light of Day.