Live Video: Tinariwen

Recently, Wo’ Pop favorites Tinariwen played a live set for KEXP while moving through Seattle on their sold-out international tour to promote their new album, Emmaar. Drawing influence from West African music, traditional Tuareg assouf stylistics, and bootlegged albums by western artists, Tinariwen’s bluesy sound is informed by a deep appreciation for diverse composition. Interestingly enough, Tinariwen’s music has not only received positive international acclaim, winning a Grammy for Best World Music Album, but also has been the target of political violence. In 2012, the militant Islamist group Ansar Dine demonized their music, later resulting in the capture of their guitarist, Abdallah Ag Lamida, while attempting to save his instruments. Fleeing the violence, Tinariwen temporarily relocated in the southwest, near Joshua Tree National Park, to finalize Emmaar. Because of the dislocation, the lead singer, Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, decided to remain in Mali to reconcile with the issues caused by the political crisis. Despite the traumatic situations, Tinariwen put forth great effort and utilized the chaos as fodder to carve ambitious, political, Tuareg rock. Watch this uplifting in-studio performance now:

Full Performance:

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