Tuareg guitarist and songwriter Mdou Moctar is releasing a new album called Afrique Victime next month – his first for Matador. He’s already shared “Chismiten” and “Tala Tannam” and today shares the title track. It’s a song of protest, as he explains:
“’Afrique Victime’ is a message to all of the countries with money and power who come into Africa and kill the leaders who try to empower the people and lead revolutions. This pushes the area into danger and instability and emboldens the terrorists, and it’s the people who suffer and have no justice. Africa is innocent. The French use our uranium, but 90% of the people here don’t have electricity. Imagine.”
Moctar begins “Afrique Victime” is a state of anguish, powerfully singing out messages of empathy and solidarity to his fellow Africans whom he has seen being taken advantage of for years; “The wind born in Tunisia spread all over Arabia / Africa is a victim of so many crimes / If we stay silent it will be the end of us / Why is this happening?” He doesn’t remain in lament though, but uses his signature weapon – the guitar – to fight back. For the remaining minutes of this extensive song, he and his band enter a heady African psych jam, where his guitar romps with determination, while his band provides a splashy foundation for his musical exploration. They join together vocally, too, and their message of pain becomes one of strength.
Again, check the details of the video to see the English translation of the words to “Afrique Victime”.