Always on the hunt for new music — especially instrumental so I can play music during our IT classes without the distraction of lyrics — I came across Mammane Sani from Sahel Sounds, a music project/record label that focuses on music from Mauritania, Mali, and Niger. Mammane Sani lives in Niamey and his music is like a space lullaby.
“It was possibly the first Organ in Niger,” he explained. He began to compose songs on the organ. Many of these songs were interpretations of Niger folkloric classics. “I wanted to make the Wodaabe songs on the keyboard, make the Tuareg tendé with the rhythm,” he said. Some were his own compositions. Salamatu, one his most popular songs, was created for his girlfriend. He stopped as he came across her photo, how he once lay with his head in her lap, and tears came to his eyes. When she asked him why he was crying, he answered “Because I’ve never been so happy as I am in this moment.” He sits quietly, before I asked what happened to Salamatu, and he smiles before shaking his head and turning the page.