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Anewal - Alhousseini Anivolla

Anewal - Alhousseini Anivolla

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As expansive as the Sahara itself" (Songlines 4/2017)

Anewal - Alhousseini Anivolla

Biography

Alhousseini Anivolla, as he calls himself, belongs to the people of Imuhar or Kel Tamashek, popularly known as Tuareg. However, he rejects this name because of its negative connotation. As a son of nomads, he experienced childhood and youth in the Sahara, guarded goats and camels. Due to drought, the family moved to the capital of Niger, Niamey, in 1987. Here he taught himself how to play the guitar and quickly became a coveted accompanist of other desert blues guitarists like Abdallah Oumbadougou and the group Tinariwen.

In 1995-2004 he joined the band Etran N'Guefan / Niger. In 2004 the band became Etran Finatawa. From 2004 to 2006 he was guitarist and bassist as well as singer of the group.

From 2007-2015 he was the bandleader as well as main singer and main composer of the ensemble. With Etran Finatawa he toured around the globe between 2004 and 2015. Since 2012 he pursues a solo career and founded his new ensemble Anewal. Anewal means in his mother tongue as much as the wanderer. It is borrowed from his surname Anivolla. Since 2009, he has worked with many international musicians: Guy Buttery, Eric Triton, Steve Newman, Malebo Mothema, Steven Sogo, Maarja Nuut and Huun Huur Tu. Alhousseini Anivolla has released two solo CDs. The producer was his longtime friend Colin Bass.

With the foresight of a well-traveled man, the artist uses his music to bring the world's attention to the cultural wealth of his people and the many cultures of Niger. In his songs as well as in his many contributions in interviews and discussion forums, he warns against the loss of cultural diversity around the world. Cultural preservation is its central theme. He speaks of social changes, climate change and the direct impact on his people. With great regret, he comments on the conflicts in the Sahara and repeatedly calls for reconciliation and peace. Anivolla has been actively involved in education since 2005. In workshops in schools, he teaches life as a nomad to children and adolescents around the world. Even in his own country he sensitizes young people for traditions and identity preservation as a means in the fight against poverty.