Perhaps in no other country is music more entwined in everyday life than in Mali, often cited as the ancestral home of the American blues. When Islamists gained control of the north, they instituted sharia law and banned music. Artists who eked out a living by performing were suddenly out of work. Malian musician Rokia Traoré talks about what the unrest has done to artists in Mali and the country’s social fabric. Her latest album Beautiful Africa is due out in April.