Artist of The Day: Tinariwen

posted by Shane German on 08/09/2019

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Friday, August 9th: TINARIWEN

Tinariwen is a Tuareg group from the southern Sahara; the group's name, meaning "empty places," is a reflection of their land of origin. The band formed in 1979 in the rebel camps of Colonel Gaddafi, as each of the musicians had been forced from their nomadic lifestyle into involuntary military service. Surrounded by a displaced nation of their peers, Tinariwen forged a new style of music, trading their traditional lutes and shepherd's flutes for electric guitars and drums. The style that resulted was dubbed "Tishoumaren," or "the music of the unemployed." In a region with no postal or telephone system, their tapes soon became a grassroots voice of rebellion and a rallying point for the disenfranchised nation. Though outlawed in Algeria and Mali, their first two records, 2001's “The Radio Tisdas Sessions” and 2004's “Amassakoul,” are available to Western audiences. Their music addresses issues such as political awakening, problems of exile, repression of their people, and demands of sovereignty.

Their new album, “Amadjar,” will be released in September 2019.


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