Kel Assouf
(c) Maël Lagadec


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  • country:Niger
  • style(s):Rock, Touareg
  • label:Igloo Records
  • type:Band, Trio
  • gender:male
  • instrumentation:rock band
  • artist submitted by:Enthusiast Music

Line up

  • Anana Harouna (Vocal, guitar)
  • Olivier Penu (drums)
  • Sofyann Ben Youssef (keyboards)

Kel Assouf means both “nostalgia” and “son of eternity” in Tamashek, the language of the Sahara nomads.

In 2006 the group gathered around exiled Nigerian musician Anana Harouna. After the album “Tin Hinane” (Igloomondo 2010), Anana started working with Tunisian producer and musician Sofyann Ben Youssef (Bargou08) creating a distinctive tradi-modern sound – some call it a hyper-modern sound – that is both heavy and hypnotic.
Their album “Tikounen” (surprise) expresses feelings of perplexity and rage towards a world in which war, injustice and pollution are omnipresent.

Its heavy rock sound reminds us of Led Zeppelin and Queens of the Stone Age – mixed with African trance rhythms. Think of a dancefloor somewhere between London and Niamey.

With one foot in the desert and the other in Europe, Anana Harouna sings about the Sahara, Niger and Brussels, using short phrases similar to Japanese haiku, spreading a message of peace and respect.

Kel Assouf currently work on a new album to be released in 2019 with an unconventional trio formula. Drummer Olivier Penu and keyboard player Sofyann Ben Youssef support singer and guitar player Anana Harouna. They add a layer of freedom and contrasts to the heavy rock sound typical of their last album Tikounen.

« Tuareg influences fuse with heavy rock guitars and keyboard solos in full-tilt songs about love, hypocrisy and exile » - The Guardian