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Born and raised in Niger, Omara “Bombino” Moctar is a member of the Tuareg Ifoghas tribe, which for centuries has fought against colonialism and the imposition of strict Islamic rule. During his lifetime, the Tuareg people have fought the Niger government to secure their rights on numerous occasions, causing Bombino and his family to flee several times. In exile, Bombino picked up the guitar and studied videos of Jimi Hendrix and Mark Knopfler in an effort to master their licks. Bombino worked regularly as a musician and a herder in the desert near Tripoli, spending many hours alone watching the animals and practicing his guitar. Eventually, Bombino returned to Niger, where he continued to play with a number of local bands. As his legend grew, a Spanish documentary film crew helped Bombino record his first album, Group Bombino’s Guitars from Agadez Vol. 2, which became a local radio hit. Bombino made his Nonesuch Records debut with the release of Nomad on April 2, 2013. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard World Music album chart and iTunes World chart and earned rave reviews.
Young Fathers is ‘G’ Hastings, Alloysious Massaquoi and Kayus Bankole. The three men are each named after their fathers–a unifying bond for a band that pushes against the binds of definition. They are rock and pop, hip hop and punk, and anything else you want to label them as. But really, they are none and all of these. The UK trio recently released their adventurous 12-track album White Men Are Black Men Too (Big Dada) to wide praise, including 5-star reviews from the UK’s The Guardian and The Independent. The album was written and recorded throughout 2014 while they were touring around the world, and then completed at their studio in Edinburgh. The new album is the follow up to their full length debut DEAD, one of the most original albums of 2014. The band went on to win the 2014 Mercury Prize for DEAD—the UK’s highest honor for an album. Young Fathers also performed single “GET UP” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last summer. The mesmerizing performance was their U.S. late night debut, bringing their lauded live show into U.S. homes for the first time. But enough about what they’ve done… here’s where they’re going.
Fantastic Negrito is a man’s truth told in the form of black roots music. Each song is a true story about a musician from Oakland who experienced the highs of a million dollar record deal, the lows of a near fatal car accident that put him in a coma, and is now in the phase of rebirth despite his playing hand being mangled. Negrito’s music emphasizes rawness and space. Slide guitar, drums, piano. Rather than update the Delta Blues, Fantastic Negrito leaves the original sounds of Lead Belly and Skip James intact, building bridges to a modern sound with loops and samples of his own live instruments. But the primary element that drives Fantastic Negrito’s music is uncut realness and zero concern for “pop” anything.