Mdou Moctar

Mdou Moctar immediately stands out as one of the most innovative artists in contemporary Saharan music. His unconventional interpretations of Tuareg guitar and have pushed him to the forefront of a crowded scene. Mdou shreds with a relentless and frenetic energy that puts his contemporaries to shame.


1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
I am very inspired by the traditional music of my home called Takamba which is a traditional music of the Tuaregs. This has been played by generations before us and is played with an instrument which is not the guitar.

2. How and when did you get into making music?
The first concert I went to was when I was 14 and I was very impressed by music in my hometown, especially Abdallah Oumbadgou. I started playing music at the age of 16 with the guitar.

3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?

4. What do you associate with Berlin?
I just did a recording in 2014 in Berlin of a piece in the name of (I do not have the choice) as a piece of music with an artist called Tomas Azzier. But after I do not like his proposal as he wants it to be he is the composer of the song while it’s not that so I canceled it. Because it’s a piece that I compose myself in my childhood.

5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
I love our little village (Intigibou) because it is a meeting place of the youth of the village to exchange and make music and to drink Tuareg tea, as well.

6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
If there is no music I want to be a doctor to help patients, make people happy.

7. What was the last record/music you bought?
The last record I buy is not a record is rather a cassette of an artist from my home (Abdalah Oumbadougou) 2001.

8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I am open to collaborate with anyone who wants my collaboration I have no choice on artists it depends on my taste of what the artist does when our music is together.

9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
I loved our concert in New York for me it was the best. I like a lot of concerts in Portland, Oregon and I love to do concerts outside as it reminds me of playing at home.

10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Technology is very important in our music because it is thanks to the technology that we make the music today. The music is known thanks to the technology.Thanks to the technology people know my music and I am able to tour outside of Niger.

11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?

Mdou Moctar is performing at Synästeshie Festival 2019. Tickets are available here.

Photo © Cem Misirlioglu