Mdou Moctar hails from Abalak, in the Azawagh desert of Niger. He taught himself the guitar at a young age on a homemade instrument. Inspired by returning Ishumar, Mdou traveled the road to Libya where he traveled and worked odd jobs. As chance had, he would meet some of the now famous guitarists and further his musical studies. He returned home with a guitar and a dream.
Trailer of the movie Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai
Mdou is also starring in “Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai” – a feature film set in Niger exploring the Tuareg guitar scene in Agadez. The film originally came about as directors Chris Kirkley and Jerome Fino joked about creating a Tuareg remake of Prince‘s cult classic Purple Rain. With filming set to resume in February and renowned Tuareg guitarist and Northern African cellphone music star Mdou Moctar cast in the lead as a guitarist struggling to make it in the face of fierce competition and the trials and tribulations of daily life, the original joke has become a promising reality.
“Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai”, which translates roughly as ‘Rain the Color of Blue with a little Red in it,’ will mark the first time a film is shot entirely in the Tuareg language. In addition to its sharp look, the “stylized fictional tale,” an homage to both Purple Rain and The Harder They Come, also promises to spark welcomed debate in the face of the ban on music in northern Mali — a move which threatened to cripple a fundamental aspect of Tuareg culture.
Mdou Moctar at his hometown in Tchin-Tabaradene, Niger
MDOU MOCTAR & BAND will be playing their German debut show in Berlin Wednesday July 16.
WestGermany aka NOrthEurope
Skalitzer Strasse 133, Berlin Kreuzberg
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