Aroudeini and family




Tumast id Tellah


Most Tuareg guitarists in Niger are from the epicenter of the Tuareg Ichumar and Guitar scene, based around the city of Agadez in northern Niger, singing in the Tamasheq dialect known as Tayert. Aroudeini is geographically isolated from the origin of the Nigerien Tuareg guitar scene growing up in the Northern Tillaberi Region, in the Tuareg stronghold of Bankilare, where the dialect is known as Tiwillamit. This dialect is also spoken by Malian Tuaregs to the North of the Tillaberi region and Tahoua in Niger. Now residing in Niamey, Niger’s capital, he is the head technician and programmer for Radio Fidelité.

Aroudeini’s family group, including his wife and two sons, perform original compositions that move a genre often linked to its rebel-based origins into a representation of life’s challenges and ambitions for a better world for Tuareg people. Recorded in Aroudeini’s living room, these three songs represent an anomaly when compared to the common young male Nigerien Tuareg guitarist. The band’s composition and the dialect of Tamasheq, among other features of his style, demonstrate the group’s unique place in the Tuareg guitar genre in Niger.

On a hot day, electrical issues prevented us from recording where we wanted to so we set up in Aroudeini’s living room, a concrete chamber. Because of the weather the room felt like an oven but nevertheless we had to turn the fan off to record. The family dynamic adds to the clip as not only are musicians negotiating their sounds but also husband and wife and father and son dynamics come across through non-verbal communication to check or alter a musical element.

In this isolated, and removed situation, Aroudeini demanded the amp for vocals and the guitar, to get that distorted sound that will lay over the acoustic band backing him up. Cultural values promote a reserved and respectful posture and expression, even while playing music. They could not get the right sound out of the asakalabo (inverted calabash in water struck with a padded wood stick mallet or flip-flop), so the older son Zoucher played with bare hands, adding to the uniqueness.

  • Aroudeini Ismaghil – guitar
  • Alio Youssif – rhythm guitar
  • Rahmatou Moussa – back vocals
  • Zoucher Aroudeini – calabash
  • Daniel Aroudeini – djembe
  1. Tin-nezelkeyu – 4:16 Braided ones
  2. Amidinin – 6:01 My Friend
  3. Tumast id Tellah – 5:53 [For] The good of one’s people
  4. Aroudeini Ismaghil interview – 6:20

See all metadata and notes (pdf)

  • Ethnic Group: Tuareg (Willimiden)
  • Language (dialect): Tamasheq (Tiwillimat)
  • Country: Niger
  • Recording date: July 3, 2014
  • Recording location:
    Kwara Kano neighborhood, Niamey, Niger
  • Total Recording time: 22:30
  • Technician: Brian Nowak
%d bloggers like this: