Tinariwen is nominated for a Grammy award

The north African band Tinariwen has been nominated for the Global Music Album of the 2021 Grammy awards. Tinariwen’s ninth album, Amadjar, has been well received and critically acclaimed. This is the 3rd time Tinariwen is nominated for the Grammy awards. It has won the award of best world album in 2011 for their album Tassili.

Tinariwen is a group of Tuareg artists from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali and Southern Algeria. The band was formed in 1979 in Tamanrasset, Algeria. Since the unrest in Northern Mali, the group has relocated to many places including Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and USA. Tinariwen songs often touch on the suffering of Tuareg people; the indigenous people of Northern Mali. The Tuareg’s relationship with the desert, its traditions are often a subject of many of their songs as well.

According to their website, Amadjar, was recorded at the end of 2018, in a camp in the desert around Nouakchott, Mauritania. The recording lasted about fifteen days. They were joined by the Mauritanian vocalist Noura Mint Seymali and her guitarist husband, Jeiche Ould Chigaly.

As usual most of the Amadjar songs express deep distress, survival, but movement. In a return to poetry; Ibrahim sings in ‘Ténéré Maloulat’, the first song on the album. “I’m in a complete solitude, where thoughts frighten me, and lost in their midst I arose and noticed that I was thirsty and wanted water,” .

The album features lyrics in Tamashek; a Malian dialect descendant of Tamazight; and Arabic. Amadjar means ‘the unknown visitor’ in Tamashek, the one who seeks hospitality and who’s condemned to an inner exile, within a territory or within himself.