Bombino: the Face of Tuareg Rhythms

Angela Sarpong


Don’t forget these words: Omara “Bombino” Moctar is going to take over the world. Critics love him and his albums are a real success all over the world. With his great talent and perseverance, Goumar Almoctar has become an example for young musicians and music lovers. Here is his story. Angela Sarpong

Born in an encampment of Tuareg nomads, Bombino has faced poverty, drought and war, but this did not prevent him from following his passion and becoming a successful musician. It all began when his uncle gave him a guitar that he learned to play as a child all by himself as he watched videos of Jimi Hendrix and Mark Knopfler. After joining the Tuareg political party, Bombino met one of the best guitarist in Niger, Haja Bebe who taught him how to play and invited him to be part of his band, where he gained the nickname “Bombino”, which is derived from the Italian word “bambino”, that means ‘little child’.

Bombino’s success is not only important for himself, but also for the Tuareg community. His exposure helps the Tuaregs achieve equal rights and peace as well as maintain their cultural heritage. His songs reflect the spirit of the Tuareg community. Bombino is considered the voice of the Sahara and one of the few artists who have been able to combine the traditional Berber and African rhythms with the groove and energy of rock and roll, creating a cultural evolution.

The success of Agadez attracted many musical stars to Bombino including Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. In June 2012, Auerbach began producing Bombino’s second international solo album titled Nomad. Nomad was released by Nonesuch Records on April 2, 2013 and debuted at number one on the iTunes.


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