Kel Assouf by Cayo Scheyven


The heavy sounds of Sahara stoner rock. The Tamashek word assouf signifies the emotions of loss, longing and homesickness: ‘the pain that is not physical’. No word is more prevalent in modern Tuareg music and poetry. Brussels-based Nigerian exile Aboubacar ‘Anana’ Harouna harnesses the urban energy of heavy rock to channel his pain at the continuing plight of the Tuareg people, following on from Tinariwen with an ambition to spread the word to an even wider audience.

In 2017 he joined forces with Tunisian keyboardist and producer Sofyann Ben Youssef (Bargou 08) to record the acclaimed second album, Tikounen. A larger touring band eventually morphed into the current cross-border power trio with Anana’s incisive electric guitar riffing up a sandstorm with Sofyann’s keyboards and Moog bass lines powered along by Belgian drummer Olivier Penu.

Anana Harouna lead vocals, guitar
Sofyann Ben Youssef - organ, Moog bass, backing vocals
Olivier Penu - drums, backing vocals