Tal National - "Wongharey" (MP3) (PopMatters Premiere)

Tal National are massive stars back in their homeland of Niger, where they have repeatedly topped the country's charts and appear regularly on national television, which is often used as music player by Niger citizens.

The band is noted for their excellence in the field of West African guitar music and frontman Hamadal Issoufou Moumine is one of the genre's best-known guitarists. Given all of this, the always interesting FatCat Records was eager to sign the group. Kaani will be their first worldwide release, coming along this September. Meanwhile, you can look for Tal National on the festival circuit this summer, with the highlight being their appearance at the Chicago World Music Festival this September. Today, we are proud to present the premiere of "Wonghamey" from the upcoming record, which was amazingly recorded in Niamey over two weeks on barely functioning equipment. The meager means don't hold these musicians down, as their superb talent shines like a diamond through the roughest of lenses.

Moumine tells us about the song and their approach to music-making: "At the beginning of the song we thank God for giving us the opportunity to perform our music and carry a message of peace in our music. We then sing that 100 years before each area in Niger had it's own ethnic language and a famous warrior who fought against colonisation. They fought with the sticks, knife, lance and their ideologies, not with guns. We thank God that today Niger is a peaceful country. We sing the names of these warriors from the past for the young people who don't go to school and who would otherwise not know their story. Tal National also has warriors who help them to promote our music in Niger. Whenever we play our music they are here and we never forget them; dead or alive we carry on their spirit."

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