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Baker's Dozen

Resistance Songs: Mdou Moctar's Favourite Music
David McKenna , May 26th, 2021 08:34

From Van Halen to Ali Farka Touré via Bob Marley, Tinariwen and Oumou Sangaré, Mdou Moctar takes us through the thirteen albums, tracks, artists and styles that made him who he is


Malam Maman Barka – ‘Amairam’ from Guidan Haya

He is insanely good, totally insane. He is an exceptional composer the likes of which I’ve never seen. I like listening to his songs because they’re like lessons, they’re poems that when you listen to them really make you think about a lot of different things. It’s like he’s giving you advice, you know? When he write a love song, he talks about the day he met the girl, her saying that she loves him, her parents saying that she doesn’t love him, so he went to see her older brother, then the situation was sorted and now she’s his wife. He’s telling you a whole story! He does it in his own language, Hausa, in such a way that you don’t want the song to end. And when he gets to the end of the song it has a conclusion, like someone writing down a story, it’s incredible! If you catch one of his songs half way through you have no idea what’s going on.