Roo AOTD #12 Mdou Moctar

All aboard the hype train for Bonnaroo 2024! Only 125 days until we are all on the Farm again, can you believe it? It’s coming up fast and we can’t wait to be dancing with all of you at Bonnaroo! Today’s Artist of the Day is the one and only Mdou Moctar. Learn more about the artist below. Don’t forget to check out all of our artist spotlights! Thank you for reading these posts!

Artist Biography

Mdou Moctar, also known as Mahamadou Souleymane, is a guitarist and songwriter from Agadez, a desert village in rural Niger. Growing up, he was inspired by YouTube videos of Eddie Van Halen’s six-string techniques and local traditional Tuareg melodies. Mdou mastered the guitar by building one himself to craft his own style of rock, now dubbed Saharan rock. He then wrote, produced, and starred in the first Tuareg language film Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai, a Purple Rain remake that translates to “Rain The Color Of Blue With A Little Red In It.” Mdou’s music traveled across West Africa via mobile phone data cards, which is a popular form of music distribution in the region. His popularity got him DIY world tours and album releases via the indie label Sahel Sounds, growing his audience to the global scale. He formed a full band, consisting of a local rhythm guitarist, local drummer, and bassist Mikey Coltun who files 20 hours from Brooklyn and takes a 28-hour bus ride to reach Agadez for band practice and recording. Mikey also serves as the band’s producer and road manager, having played over 500 shows on three continents with the band. In the fall of 2023, Mdou Moctar and his band were stranded in the US after a coup in Niger prevented them from flying back to their home country after a tour. They launched a GoFundMe to raise funds to stay in the US until they could once again travel home. The band is still in the US as the crisis in Niger continues.


Saharan Rock, Psychedelic Rock

Scheduled at Bonnaroo

Friday (Link to Daily Schedules)