The Tuareg blues band from Niger has unveiled its new project: a live album recorded long before the health crisis.
As their name suggests, these artists come from Illighadad, a village located in the Sahara, in west Niger. The group is composed of three young women, Fatou Seidi Ghali, Alamnou Akrouni and Mariama Salah, who are accompanied by Fatou’s cousin, guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane, who is also playing with the much-loved Mdou Moctar. The group became popular after being discovered by Christopher Kirkley on behalf of Sahel Sounds, who expressed surprise that Fatou was holding a guitar in her hand – something usually reserved for men. In 2016, the women left their country for the first time, on tour in Europe.
Les Filles de Illighadad wields a symbiosis of blues, folk and traditional music styles like takamba, a musical genre named after the one-stringed lute. They are also inspired by the tendé, an art of poetry and a drum mainly played by women. Their songs aim to provide support during the trials of daily life, whether concerning love, the status of women, war, and life in Illighadad in general.
The Tuareg blues of Les Filles de Illighadad has now spread around the world, notably gaining footing at the Pioneer Works, a legendary concert hall in Brooklyn where they performed in 2019. These two nights of performances were captured on a live album that was produced by Sahel Sounds in collaboration with the New York venue. “Subarjo” is already available, a track offering contagious positive vibes that induce meditative celebrations of life.
Pre-order the album Les Filles de Illighadad at Pioneer Works ahead of its May 28, 2021 release date.