Boomkat Product Review:
The legendary Tuareg blues guitarist sets fire to record for Sahel Sounds
“Recorded at the same sessions as Mdou's recent album Ilana: The Creator, "Ibitlan" has been a staple of Mdou's band's live shows over the past years, sometimes being played at lengths of 10+ minutes!
Whereas Ilana: The Creator's lyrical content often focused on life in postcolonial Niger, "Ibitlan" is more focused on matters of the heart. When describing the song, Mdou said, "It's like when there's a valley, with a stream running through it, and all the plants are green, the song is about how my girlfriend is beautiful like that. Her skin is like a yellow flower, and her smile is like lightning."
Mdou Moctar hails from a small village in central Niger in a remote region steeped in religious tradition. Growing up in an area where secular music was all but prohibited, he taught himself to play on a homemade guitar cobbled together out of wood. It was years before he found a "real" guitar and taught himself to play in secret. He immediately became a star amongst the village youth. In a surprising turn, his songs began to win over local religious leaders with their lyrics of respect, honor, and tradition.”