Mdou Moctar: The Guitar Hero of Niger


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“Funeral for Justice,” the new album by the African musician Mdou Moctar, opens with a blast of angry, snarling guitar and an accusation raised like a fist against the rulers of his native Niger and beyond. Moctar, 40, has carved out a niche as a modern African guitar hero and one of the very few voices calling attention to the struggles of the Tuareg people.

Unique Musical Style

On the guitar, Mdou Moctar is a spellbinding psychedelic soloist, drawing influences from Jimi Hendrix and traditional Tuareg music. His band plays hypnotic grooves built on the harmonic foundations shared with the blues, lit up by his own pyrotechnic solos.

Impact and Recognition

Moctar’s music has gained recognition in the West, with his last album “Afrique Victime” receiving critical acclaim. Famous guitarists like Kirk Hammett of Metallica have praised Moctar’s work for its unique and fresh sound. Moctar’s upcoming album “Funeral for Justice” is set to amplify the urgency in his message, decrying the legacy of colonialism and Western influence in Africa.

Credit: Johnny Louis/Getty Images

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