By Ankita Taneja
The most innovative artist in contemporary Saharan music, Mdou Moctar, is a Nigerien musician with an international reputation. He has gained immense popularity and love for his modern adaptations of Tuareg guitar music and his songs of revolution. We are excited to announce a new partnership with Mdou Moctar and his band! Mdou, who is currently based in the city of Agadez, is committed to increasing both awareness of the need for safe water and funding to drill wells in his home country. For all upcoming shows, tote bags featuring the band’s logo as well as Wells Bring Hope’s will be on sale, and all proceeds will go directly to WBH to drill wells in rural villages across Niger.
Source: Rafael Ojea Perez
The musical journey of Mdou Moctar is infused with intriguing facts. The most heartwarming anecdote of his journey, as described in one of his interviews with Rolling Stone, is the way he has kick-started his career in music by practicing on a homemade guitar that he made with wood and bicycle parts. Moctar’s music traveled across West Africa via the trading network of cellphones and memory cards. His debut album, Anar, was also included in the compilation “Music from Saharan Cellphone.” After this, he gained international attention for playing the guitar in takamba and assouf styles. In 2019, Mdou Moctar released Ilana (The Creator), his first studio album, and in 2021, one of his songs ended up on President Obama’s year-end list of his favorite music.
He grew up listening to Tuareg guitar legends, but it wasn’t until on a musical tour that he discovered the genre. “I have no concept what rock is,” he claims, adding, “I only know how to play in my way.” His songs revolve around the themes of love, politics, and revolution. With music, words, and good intention, he is dedicated to promoting the youth of his region. “I know what it’s like to have been in that position,” he says, “to not have the support of your family or the money for guitars or strings, it’s really hard. I have a lot of support from the younger generation because I help them out a lot. When I get back from tour, I give them gear that I bought while I was away so they can go out and form their own bands.” Indeed, his passion for music, Tuareg guitar, and the desire to promote change, love, and music for the people of Niger have made him a celebrated creator.
Source: Daniel M. Sampaio
What makes Mdou Moctar stand apart are the ideas in his music. He cares for the people of Niger and understands the problems of his home place. He sings for Niger, and to Niger. With his musical revolution and international stage presence, he has contributed to bringing the spirits of Nigerien communities to the West.
He’s generously donating to Wells Bring Hope and his partnership helps more Nigeriens access clean water.