Tihoulawen
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Tihoulawen

Niamey, Niger | Established. Jan 01, 2018 | SELF

Niamey, Niger | SELF
Established on Jan, 2018
Band World Blues Rock

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Oct
27
Tihoulawen @ The Palace Boutique Hotel

Manama, Capital, Bahrain

Manama, Capital, Bahrain

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Bio

     Tihoulawen plays the traditional music of the nomadic Tuareg people of North Africa.  The band is unique in the genre as it is fronted by two experienced and revered singer/songwriters of the Berber community who are coming together to form a Tuareg "supergroup". Tihoulawen is the real deal, a pure manifestation of the “Desert Blues” genre, and stay true to their musical traditions as opposed to adding fusion elements.  They simply are "the soul of the Sahara". The band is made up of two main members, Hamid Ekawel and Majdou Zakaria as well as a bassist and two traditional drummers. 

     Hamid Ekawel took up music in 1990, at the very beginning of the rebellions. He realized then the power of music to communicate, to give courage to his fellow fighters, to claim Tuareg culture and to fight for it.  In exile far from his family, he sang to bring himself closer to them and his homeland. His lyrics evoke his culture, childhood, love, friendship, betrayal and courage. His message is one of peace and tranquility and thru his music and voice, paints an image of nomad life in the desert.  In 1993 with the group Tarbiya and solo, he started to tour and has been on the road since.  In 2002, the tour ‘Focus on the Berbers’ took him throughout Europe for a series of 25 concerts.  Well known in his community, Hamid has collaborated with many Tuareg musicians, including Tinariwen and Baly Othmani.  Self-taught, he allows modern and western styles to influence his music, while never losing his Tuareg heritage. Taken from a traditional poem, ‘Mahi igdalan amerdeless’ Hamid and his music evokes the nomad’s desire to be able to enjoy his liberty and express that joy.

    Majdoudini Zakaria better known as “Majdou” hails from a small village in South West Niger. A proud Tuareg, his music is not only for arts sake but for activism because Majdou is on a mission: to preserve and protect this nomadic ethnic group of North Africa.  Since the age of 6, Majdou poured himself into his passion of the guitar helped along by his family who had a long history of musicianship. Hamid Ekawel, a family friend helped him along when returning from his stay in Libya in 1991 he brought with him a long-awaited jewel to the village: A guitar! His passion for the guitar took the predictable path when he began to listen to and reproduce the songs of the Tuareg hero’s Tinariwen.  His passion for the guitar did not however prevent Majdou from matching his talent as an artist with a brilliant school career. He joined the Niamey High School of Excellence in 2004, where the intensive demand of classes led him to isolate himself on the roofs of the buildings of the Lycée to relax with his guitar.  While his studies did not allow him to devote 100% of his time to music he managed to bring together a group of students together in 2009 to start an artistic career.  At his side was Almansour cheikh Mohamed (bassist), alhidayat Aboubakrine (chorister), alkutbi Malik Oubbi said (percussionist) and very recently Abdoulmoubdi Daouda said tabday (rhythm guitar). Later, he joined the National School of Administration and Judiciary (ENAM) of Niamey where he graduated in 2013.  In October 2011 he produced and recorded his first album AYITMA (literally “My Brothers”).  In October 2017, he recorded TIMOUDDA whose 12 songs, all sung in Tamachek, deal with age old yet pressing subjects such as freedom, fraternity, justice, unity, solidarity, love, noble behavior, and bravery.  He has shared the stage with many Tuareg artists including Bombino, Kader Tarhanin, Saddam, Babah Sallah and Khaira Arbiy.  He has experience playing abroad in Mali, Nigeria and most recently, playing the main stage at the Taragalte festival in Morocco. Majdou has a single objective: To make known the wisdom, the beauty and the unseen side of the Tuareg culture around the world.