Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia met at the National Institute for the Young Blind in Bamako, the capital of Mali
, where they were both students. They fell in love, married and have been making music together for over 25 years. They now live in Paris
and spend most of their time touring the world.
Amadou and Mariam incorporate many styles of music to create their own special blend of Afro-Pop. Without letting go of their Malian roots, they deftly blend such diverse styles as American Blues and R&B, Reggae, Cuban Son and more into their own cool, funky and unique style. Their music is heartfelt without being sappy, sweet without being precious and funny without being cheesy. Above all, it's impressively well-made and a whole lot of fun to listen to.
The couple's 2004 album Dimanche A Bamako
)has won them worldwide acclaim and a Grammy nomination
. It was produced by world music wunderkind Manu Chao
and is a clear demonstration of their willingness to break the rules without straying too far from their traditions.
However, it was their 1998 release Sou Ni Tile
that broke them onto the worldwide scene in the first place, giving them a bit of a cult following, particularly among musicians. Their other two albums, 1999's Tje Ni Mousso
and 2002's Wati
were also extremely impressive.