Coming from the Khassonké griot tradition, Habib Koité developped his musical chops by accompanying his mother, herself a griotte, who sang at weddings and funerals. He further honed his skills at the Malian Institut national des arts. In 1988, Koité put together Bamada, a band of young musicians, and toured extensively through Mali. His international career took off after he was awarded the First prize at the Voxpole Festival in Perpignan, France, in 1991, and named Découverte 1993 by Radio France International. The musician released his first record, Muso Ko, in 1995, followed by Ma Ya four years later. He later shared the stage with Oumou Sangare, Bonnie Raitt and the Art Ensemble of Chicago. In 2010, he joined forces with guitarists Afel Bocoum abd Oliver Mtukudzi for the Acoustic Africa tour. In 2012, Koité collaborated with Eric Bibb on Brothers in Bamako.