At the drop of his new riveting album “Gandadiko”, conscious Malian Musician Samba Toure engaged in with us to open into his career, his album, and advice to musicians who are still struggling to make it in economies where music isn’t the forefront of career success.
What was it like working with Ali Farka Toure ?
It was working hard and respect the rules. It’s like school! It was very motivating of course, working with your hero can ony be a great experience. And what he did for me later when I started solo was more again with a lot if good advises I won”t ever forget.
After playing in so many countries, how has the reception been from all these different kinds of people?
I didn’t play so many countries, yours, Botswana for example, but please, invite me to play! Touring in Europe is great, audiences are always so warm and kind with us. Journalists and people from the audience come after the show and want signed CD’s, want to ask a lot of questions and have a show a lot of respect.But I’d say for them we are African musicians. In Africa it’s different, not less warm of course, surely warmer but in an African way. Its less formal, more familiar, I like it too, I’d love to have a big African tour one day to meet all these different people, and in Africa, we are not African musicians, we are Malian musicians.
Which African artists would you like to work with and why?
If I could work with Baaba Maal, it would be so great. I don’t know all of his work but the more traditional albums he did, rooted in Pulaar traditions are so great, I’d really love to work something with him.
What is the most played song or album in your life right now?
Niafunke by Ali Farka Touré is my all time and genre favorite album
It’s just the perfect album.
Where do you gather most of your inspiration for your works?
Just around me. I just have to see how we’re living, what we are living and what are the problems. It’s so much things that it’s enough to write songs for a century. I sing about what I see, social issues, conflicts, it’s mostly awareness songs.
I really liked “Toure Idje Bibi” under your new album. Tell us more about it.
It is about pollution. In Mali you’ll find these black plastic bags everywhere in every city, in every village. People throw it everywhere; it’s so dirty in some places that it makes me feel ashamed for my country. This is what the song is about, to ask people to respect our land.
Looking at your Gandadiko album, is there anything you would do differently about it, given the chance?
No, I love it. Maybe in a few years I’ll have a different opinion but now it’s too early. And it’s like a baby, you do it and you can’t change anything when it’s born, so It’s no use in thinking of any change, maybe only live versions could change with the time, wait and see…
What advice can you give young African artists who are trying to make it into the music scene?
I have a song about this in my new album, it’s called ‘I kana korto’, a song to say to the youth, ‘hey guys, be patient, work before dreaming of success’.
The road is long, I’m 46 now and I still work as a novice, I will always have to work. Despite of technology of modern days that can help in some ways, it’s getting harder and harder, the music business is ill, so the competition, if we can call this a competition, will be more difficult again, so work hard, be courageous and hopeful. But also don”t forget to have a plan B in your life!