Music of Niger

West African music
Benin Burkina Faso
Chad Côte d'Ivoire
Gambia Ghana
Guinea Guinea-Bissau
Liberia Mali
Mauritania Niger
Nigeria Senegal
Sierra Leone Togo
Western Sahara

Niger is an African country inhabited by a mix of ethnic groups, mostly Hausa, Beriberi, Songhai, Djerma, Dendi, Puel - Woodabe and Bororo and Tuareg peoples. The Tuareg are known for romantic, informal love poetry played by both men and women, with voices accompanied by clapping, tinde drums (in women's songs) and a one-stringed viol (in men's songs). The Beriberi are known for complex polyphony, while the region around the capital of Niamey is inhabited by Dherma and Songhai who play, generally solo, a variety of lutes, flutes and fiddles. The Hausa, who make up over half of the country, use the duma for percussion and the molo (a lute), along with ganga, alghaïta (shawm) and kakati (trumpet) in the southeast Zinder area.

Music for the purpose of entertainment has not been readily accepted by the Nigerien government, though restrictions have loosened since the death of Seyni Kounché in 1987. A competitive music festival called the Prix Dan Gourmou helped inspire a musical renaissance in the country, led by people like Alassane Dante. The Centre for Musical Training and Promotion was founded in 1990, furthering this process, using a grant from the European Fund for Development. Musicians formed bands to seek fame both domestically and internationally, with the most successful being the group Takeda, formed by Adam's Junior, Fati Mariko, John Sofakolé, Moussa Poussy and Yacouba Moumouni.

In the mid-1990s, internationally renowned record producer Ibrahima Sylla travelled to Niamey and ended up signing Poussy and Saadou Bori, and has since also helped release records from Adam's Junior and Mamar Kassey.


Rap Nigerien

Rap Nigerien exploded in Niger at the end of last millennium.

Rap Nigerien has few interesting specifics and is a mélange of different languages spoken in Niger. The music is soft and kind, mixed with a traditional heritage of their music. It grew into an interesting sociologic phenomenon, which expands borders of entertainment. Young and dissatisfied people started to talk about objects which annoy them - forced marriages, child labor, corruption, poverty and other problems.

Rap Nigerien also spontaneously ran UNICEF programs, which are working much more than others. In August 2004, UNICEF opened an action "Scene Ouverte Rap", where 45 new groups entered selections among an informal count of 300 existing groups. Selections took place in Centre Culturel Franco – Nigerien between the 5th and 14th of August.

A large amount of groups are still active, for example Tchakey, Kaidan Gaskya, Was Wong and Goro G. There are also a lot of newer groups like Haskey Klan, Kamikaz, Rass Idris and Metaphor.

External Links

Detailed Information, MP3s ( [1] (


  • Bensignor, François. "Sounds of the Sahel". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 1: Africa, Europe and the Middle East, pp 585-587. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0

External Links

Detailed Information, MP3s (Rap Nigerien) (


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