5 Reasons to Go See. . . Khaira Arby

She’s Mali’s biggest star

Arby is known in Mali as ‘The Nightingale of the North’, and her music reflects the cultural diversity of the Sahara region. ‘Timbuktu is a multicultural city and has been for many hundreds of years. I sing in several languages to connect to each of the groups who live in Timbuktu and in Mali.’

It’ll expand your global horizons

‘My music developed from traditional roots but is strongly influenced by the contemporary music we hear today both in Mali and from around the world,’ Arby told The List, via a translator, from her home in Mali.

This is her first UK tour

‘I have met many people from the UK who have come to Mali to our music festivals and concerts such as the Festival au Desert Essakane which is held near my home in Timbuktu. I am happy to be able to visit this country now and experience life in the UK.’

Her live shows are legendary

Arby’s band includes electric guitarists and traditional percussionists, but, as she explains, ‘We sometimes also have traditional dancers or back-up vocalists or even expatriate Malians who come to the shows who jump up on the stage to help out. You can expect an energetic and driving show. We dance. We play. We have a great time and the audiences connects to that energy. Somehow it turns into a dance party!’

She brings people together

‘It is important to have broader cultural understanding among peoples. This is an important way to foster peace in the world. Listen to each other’s music and have a good time together!’

Khaira Arby, with support from Super Khoumeissa and RM Hubbert, Stereo, Glasgow, Tue 17 May.

Join our newsletter