The Tuareg guitarist and his band unveil “Tala Tannam”, a first single that sets the tone, marking an ode to fraternity.
Mdou Moctar didn’t expect to become the ambassador of Tuareg music. The pioneer of electronic adaptations of Berber guitar pieces grew up in a conservative family and it wasn’t until he discovered his instrument in Arlit’s streets that his mindset started to shift. His music is also firmly linked to is Islamic faith, which conveys messages of love while informing his audience about the situation in his native Niger.
This year, he’s back with a new album, Afrique Victime, a true fusion between rock and more poetic meditations on love, women’s emancipation, injustice, religion and the colonial exploitation of West Africa. Its sounds are reminiscent of the rock of the 70s, in the vein of Van Halen, one of his main inspiration.
Mdou Moctar defines the album’s message as follows: “All colors and genders are equal. Women, men and children all suffer in the desert due to the colonization by France and therefore there is a lack of the basics – hospitals, drinking water, schools.”
His new single, “Tala Tannam,” is an exception in the artist’s career. Indeed, his group is renowned for its energy, while this new track consists of a soft melody, of infinite, subtle simplicity. Mdou Moctar elaborated on the track’s message: “Tala Tannam means your tears. It is another love song of which I’m very fond.” Filmed in Niamey, in his native country, the video represents the power of friendship. Mikey Coltun explains: “The video includes friends and family – in the Tuareg community in villages around Niamey as well as Hausa people from villages in the Dosso region.”
Pre-order his album here ahead of its May 21st release via the Matador label.
Find Mdou Moctar in our Songs of the Week playlist on Spotify and Deezer.
We also recommend the playlist of the guitarist’s best tracks concocted by Getup.