Monday, June 5, 2017

Togetherness: Bombino and "Tigrawahi Tikma (Bring Us Together)"

Today's song is by Omar "Bombino" Moctar, who usually goes by his stage name of Bombino. An acclaimed Tuareg guitarist from Niger, he sings in Tamashek and his music usually addresses Tuareg political concerns. Bombino taught himself to play guitar while living in exile in Algeria during the Tuareg Rebellion in 1990. He later studied with Tuareg guitarist Haja Bebe, who asked him to join his band and gave him the nickname Bombino, which is a version of the Italian "bambino" or little boy. Bombino soaked in videos of Jimi Hendrix and Mark Knopfler to learn their styles while working as a sheepherder and musician near Tripoli, Libya as a teen, and he also spent time living in Burkino Faso where he came to the attention of filmmaker Ron Wyman, who encouraged him to record a proper album. Bombino returned to Niger in 2010 and recorded his debut album there. The success of the album gained him attention from other musicians such as Robert Plant, Amadou & Mariam and Gogol Bordello, and his second album was produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. This song, Tigrawahi Tikma (Bring Us Together) is from his 2011 debut album Agadez.