Let’s celebrate Niger’s independence day with a recording of Omara “Bombino” Moctar, whose story of exile — and return — speaks to many youth in the country.

Along with Rap music:

that is sometimes danceable…

sometimes political…

and sometimes incorporates tradition.

Rap group Tchakey hops on the Night Nurse Riddim(!) to talk about freedom of expression.

Since independence, music from Niger’s various ethnic groups that had traditionally been separate, such as the Hausa, Taureg, Berber, Fula, and Songhai started mixing with each other, and with Western sounds like Jazz, Blues, and Reggae giving Nigerien music a distinct feel, a place where North, East, and West Africa meet.

A live performance by Moussa Poussi where Mami Wata, the water goddess gets a roots reggae dedication:

This great Coupe Decale influenced Hausa song was shared not too long ago on Sahel Sounds:

Three of the countries top women singers get together for a song with a social awareness message.

Support from The Festival in the Desert, and both upcoming and established Western labels has benefited Nigerien artists such as Etran Finatawa who formed at the festival in 2004…

Happy Nigerien Independence Day!