Mdou Moctar (b. 1986) is a Tuareg songwriter and musician based in Agadez, Niger, and is one of the first musicians to perform modern electronic adaptations of Tuareg guitar music. He first became famous through a subtle trading network of cellphones and memory cards in West Africa.
Mdou Moctar is a popular wedding performer and sings about Islam, education, love and peace in Tamasheq. He plays a left-handed Fender in a takamba and assouf style. He is originally from Abalak and has also lived in Tchintabaraden and Libya.
Moctar says that in Agadez, guitar is like football in Brazil: Only about 10% don’t play. His first guitar was one he made himself as a kid with a box and the cable from a bicycle brake.
The language he sings in is of a Berber language family called “Tamachiq,” more frequently called “Taureg” in the West.