Originally a dream collaboration mixtape track, Theophilus London's charmed life willed his participation on Amadou and Mariam's Damon Albarn-produced African pop single, "Sabali," into real life. In Peter Macia's feature on London in FADER #61, London discusses the track's impetus, "Man, the colors I saw when I heard this song," he says, "I didn't even know what [Mariam] was saying, but I wanted to complement her. I just wanted to contribute and take the record to another level." His version, conceived on a plane, made its way to Amadou and Mariam, who then invited London to perform the song with them (any word if he's getting up in a stadium during their current stint opening for Coldplay?), and now the track is an official, seamless meeting of Mali and New York.
illustration Fontaine Anderson