Musical genius: Mamman Sani

These unreleased recordings shed even more light on the genius of Niger artist, Mamman Sani Abdoulaye. The track Arman Doley is so exciting to hear because of the vocals of Sani and accompanying singer(s). Previous releases on the label SahelSounds have been cosmic enough, but this is incredible. Arman Doley is one of the first recordings of Mamman singing and is about the dangers of arranged marriage.

On one of label boss Chris Kirkley’s digging trips to Niger, Mamman Sani gave him a box of cassette tapes and these sessions were among them. A recent re-listen of that bounty uncovered these recordings that had been thought lost. Thank you music spirits (and of course Chris) that these have finally been (found and…) released.

Most of the songs feature Mamman playing on his orla accompanied by a BOSS Dr. Rhythm. The track Mai Dawaya features a short lived group called Farin Wata with Mamman Sani and two guitarists (Salif and Babu). This was apparently recorded for television. The VHS is still a lost grail.

Huge respect to Chris Kirkley as ever for his painstaking research and output. More at SahelSounds.

Mamman Sani Abdoulaye

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