"Before, we never made our music to commercialize it, we only made it for ourselves."
Members of Nigerien band Entran Finatawa discuss being exposed to music outside of their traditional settings through artists such as Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix and Ali Farka Touree, and how the musical styles of these three artists led to them forming a band and developing their own sound.
Although the band initially started out with two Tuareg women vocalists, after getting married a year and a half into the band’s existence, the two women were no longer permitted to make music as Tuareg culture does not permit married women to do so. With the original 12-member band then reduced to 10 - six Peul (Fulani)-Wodaabe and six Tuareg individuals, the band was soon forced to split the group due to high traveling costs with six members continuing to tour and play music, and four remaining in Niger.
The remaining six members penned the music for the band’s sophomore album, consisting of a new sound with lyrical content that highlights the issues facing their communities, such as drought and the rapid urban migration of ‘nomads’ to the city who’ve had to leave their pastoral lives behind, and the exploitation of labor that happens as a result of it.