At Pioneer Works

Les Filles de Illighadad

released July 9, 2021

Les Filles de Illighadad comes from the village of Illighadad in a remote region of central Niger. Like many of the villages in the area, its borders are loosely defined, owing to the largely pastoral population. It rests on the shore of a seasonal pond that swells during the rainy season. The center of town has a well, some small houses, and a school. But most of Illighadad’s people live in the surrounding scrubland desert, in tiny patched roof houses or temporary nomadic tents, hidden among the trees.

Les Filles de Illighadad (“daughters of Illighadad”) was founded in 2016 by solo guitarist Fatou Seidi Ghali and renowned vocalist Alamnou Akrouni. In 2017 they were joined by Amaria Hamadalher, a force on the Agadez guitar scene, and Abdoulaye Madassane, rhythm guitarist and a son of Illighadad. Les Filles’ music draws from two distinct styles of regional sound, ancient village choral chants and desert guitar. The result is a groundbreaking new direction for Tuareg folk music and a sound that resonates far outside of their village.

To emerge from this small village to perform on stages around the world is no small feat, and is a testament to the band’s unique sound. But their home is more than their narrative. Illighadad is central to everything about the band, from their repertoire… more

Fatou Seidi Ghali – guitar | vocals
Alamnou Akrouni – percussion | vocals
Amaria Hamadalher – guitar | percussion
Abdoulaye Madassane – guitar | vocals

Produced by Christopher Kirkley and Ben Parrish
Co-Produced by Justin Frye
Recorded by Ryan Caruso, Osaro Ogedengbe, Bob Bellarue, Matthew Mann, and Kyle Keays Hagerman
Art Direction by Christopher Kirkley
Art and Design by Daniel Kent & Jesse Johanning
Photography by Walter Włodarczyk
Mixed by Jason Powers
Mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk
Text by Christopher Kirkley
Lyric Translation by Ali Tajoussir Ahmed
Les Filles de Illighadad Managed by Mathieu Petolla
Live Concerts presented by Pioneer Works
in Collaboration with Outer Ear Projects
© & ℗ 2021 Sahel Sounds in collaboration with Pioneer Works Press