Imarhan, meaning ‘the ones I care about’, started out around 2008, a loose collection of friends who began to play together. Their reflects their cultural and generational background; dry guitar riffs, pop melodies and pan-African rhythms which draw on traditional Tuareg music, African ballads and the modern pop and rock the band heard growing up.
The band’s debut album is intent on dismantling the ideas western listeners have about popularized Tuareg music. This new wave of Tuareg musicians sound very different to the desert distortion that accompanies groups like Mdou Moctar or Group Inerane. Instead, it finds a calm and passionate soul, provides sumptuous slow burners, and a complexity of composition that hasn’t been demonstrated by previous music exported from the Saharan people’s musical repertoire. Imarhan will perform at Lido Berlin on March 27th.
1. Keep connected with your loved ones
2. Friendship & education are the keys
3. Tamanrasset is the best place in our world (+ bonus, Temet will be your favorite record)
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
We don’t have one specific inspiration, we listen to too many different kinds of music. I like to remain open to every kind, if i focus on one specific artist i might do the same and that won’t be interesting at all.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
We listened a lot to Ali Farka Touré and Tinariwen when we were young, and then we realized that Tinariwen was playing all around the world, we were very proud of our culture to be more and more known. I realized we could try to do the same, playing all around the world, spreading our culture and our music.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
I don’t know at all the names of the albums, and most often even of the artists. Of course I love all Ali Farka Touré albums, i love Aman Iman of Tinariwen, I love the oud player Alla, but i also love western music such as the song Pretty Pimpin of Kurt Vile or the voice of London Grammar singer…
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
I like when we play Germany because we feel a good energy, and that the people understand quickly our music. I feel the history behind Berlin, a long and strong history.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
I love all about Tamanrasset desert places, all around the city, the desert, the mountains, especially Tassili is one of my favorite places.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
If there was no music there would be something else replacing it, then I guess I would do this other thing…
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
I actually never bought a record. We listen to music on internet through our phones mostly, or mp3 we so share between friends. Lately I’ve been listening a lot to the Lebanese Fairuz that I love, I love her voice, and her style, i fell it’s very rich.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
When we went to Khartoum in December I discovered one band with a female singer and traditional percussions. I loved what I heard and I’m trying to find again the name of this band …! That would be special to collaborate with them.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
All of them! But maybe every first time is a great memories. I always remember the first times.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Technology is mostly our breath. We use guitar amps, pedals, we like above all using natural and rich sounds.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
They are proud they see that we are not doing this for nothing, they see our success and support us strongly.
To Listen: imarhan.bandcamp.com