Imagine if your hometown was once a bustling cosmopolitan hub — a place where music filled the streets and diverse cultures met and melded.Now imagine that same city in the hands of Al Qaeda-affiliated extremists who’ve banned most forms of entertainment (including music and sports) and outlawed direct communication with the opposite sex. That’s exactly what happened in Gao, a city in Northern Mali at the edge of the Sahara and hometown to guitar legend Baba Salah.
But “The Jimi Hendrix of Africa” would not be silenced: Pushing forward, he gained worldwide exposure with his first international release, Dangay. Celebrated for its incredible musicianship and political significance, the album has been praised by NPR, the Washington Post, TIME, and many others.
Fighting back with music
Baba Salah’s music is an act of defiance against a militant form of religious extremism, and CD Baby is proud to say we’re helping him and other Malian artists spread a message of tolerance and reconciliation. For musicians who don’t have the means or freedom to tour, a service like CD Baby can mean the difference between social change and silence.
Baba’s friend, producer, and label-head Paul Chandler says, “Because of CD Baby, I can record, promote, and distribute local artists globally without leaving Mali. I can even collect the royalty payments from here and pay the artists each month. In a country where most people live off of a few dollars a day, that’s a very big deal.”
Now is the time to be heard.
No matter where you are in your music career — or where you are in the world — CD Baby can help you make the most of your music.
We distribute to iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and many other digital retailers, and we can also warehouse, sell, and ship your physical CDs and vinyl so you don’t have to worry about the small stuff.
You make the music. We’ll sell it everywhere. Want to learn more? Get started here.
To read an interview with Paul Chandler about Baba Salah’s independent music career, click HERE.
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