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damon albarn

‘It’s a record 100% honest.’

Interview translated by Kevin. Find the original article in french here.

“Everyday Robots ” is the first album of the English singer under his name. Poetic and very personal.

After twenty years of one of the most prolific careers of pop after the Blur project, Gorillaz, The Good, The Bad & the Queen, Damon Albarn reveals itself more than ever.

 This first solo album is it the start of something?

That is possible. But it may be that this is a dead end, too! I give my full attention to each of my projects. I devote the time it deserves. When it runs out of steam, I try a new approach. The idea is to continue this creative spirit, to sustain life. And that has not changed since my debut, I’ve always wanted to have new and interesting things to do. At the moment, I am about my own attention. But this is not necessarily a permanent condition. Read More

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I’m totally overrated.

With Blur and Gorillaz, Damon Albarn played at the top of the charts, with world music and opera, he convinced even the most skeptical critics. Now the 46-year-old musician released “Everyday Robots”, his first solo album. A conversation about his childhood, love songs and ambition.

During a visit to Damon Albarn’s studio in west London you can already see on the interior that here an energetic artist lives: hanging on the wall the map of Mali, on the shelf an instrument built from an oil can, and the coffee table shows an excerpt of the route of London Underground.

Damon, here is where the magic happen?

Sometimes. On a good day.

Down at the entrance there is a bookcase where the last three books are about occult philosophy, have you actually read them? Read More

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The Good, The Bad, and The King

Playing at Toumani Diabaté’s Festival Acoustik Bamako, Damon Albarn becomes an honorary royal?

Damon Albarn’s picking up an OBE in March. But before that, on January 31, he was granted the status of a local king in Mali and has a new name, Makandjan Kamissoko. It’s quite some honour, and was made by the country’s leading griots, hereditary musicians who are the guardians of Mali’s ancient history and songs.

Griots don’t forget, and they had taken note of Albarn’s commitment to the country, coming back here at a time when the Foreign Office advise against “all but essential” travel, after the terrorist attack on a luxury Bamako hotel in November, in which 20 people were killed. Read More

“The best act of resistance is to touch people’s hearts”

Thanks to Blur North America for sharing the interview. Original article in french here.

Damon Albarn, lead singer of Blur,  agreed to respond about the Paris attacks. But when he answered the phone in London, a Radisson Hotel in Bamako was being the victim of a terrorist attack.

After Paris, now is Bamako, a place you know well, who is under a terrorist attack…

I was shocked by what happened at the Bataclan. One of my close friends left the room ten minutes before the attack. I can not believe this is happening again in Bamako. Paris will recover from this, they will emerge even stronger, but the economy is so fragile in Bamako that this kind of event can have serious consequences on people’s lives. I will return in January to give concerts in Bamako with Africa Express. The music world can do a lot for Mali. I’m nothing on my own, but I am part of a very large family. Our network extends in all cities, all villages. The resistance is there, they will never wipe us off the map.
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Before he drew on his break-up with Elastica’s Justine Frischmann for the songs on Blur’s last album, ’13’, Damon Albarn’s eye for colourful character sketches had ensured that the sharply drawn vignettes of ‘The Great Escape’ and ‘Parklife’ turned Blur from cult favourites to essential touchstones of ’90s Britpop.

On ’13’ and its predecessor ‘Blur’, Albarn and the band moved into new soundscapes that acknowledged the influence of left-field Americans like Pavement and German electronic pioneers Can. When the band then marked the end of the century with their complete singles box set and accompanying live shows, it signalled a break with their past.

“I don’t ever want to play those songs again,” Albarn now admits, curled up on a chair in his small Notting Hill recording studio. “But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to make another album.” Read More