Video

Watch The Music Video Premiere of Nigerien Artist Bombino's Song, 'Deran Deran Alkheir'

The music video is a beautiful representation of the simplicity of love through a Tuareg lens.

Bombino capitalizes on his ability to paint vivid pictures in the mind with striking lyrics and beautiful guitar strums by bringing us a music video for his new track, "Deran Deran Alkheir."

After listening to his full album, we've been wondering when we'd see a music video and we've been finally blessed with the first one. The music video features a bride and groom expressing their love through interpretive-style dance.

Bombino summed up his message and mission for the music video for us:

"Deran Deran Alkheir is a traditional wedding song. It is sung to the man and woman getting married in order to bless them and wish them good fortune together. For this video we wanted to quite simply show the beauty and simplicity of romantic love. I love the way the director, the choreographer, and the dancers interpreted this. It is a beautiful, modern style that matches the spirit of our modern interpretation of the song."

Choreographed by Hillary Pearson and directed by Jonathan Wing, Bombino and his crew perfectly infused tradition with modernity, keeping both the spirit and traditions of the Tuareg people alive.

As Wing put it:

"We wanted to capture dancers in traditional Tuareg clothing, but in a minimal sense. I worked closely with our choreographer to create movement that would be emotional, sharing moments in unison and other moments where they split apart, their energies pushing and pulling. It was important to me that the choreography not be too literal to the beat or constructed as if to a pop song, allowing the emotion to flow more gracefully. Originally we set out to film the dancers in the wide open desert of Southern California, but due to last-minute unforeseen circumstances we pivoted the concept toward a studio, where I abstractly deconstructed the idea of a desert simply through theatrical lighting and color: creating a sort of infinite desert world. This ultimately ended up being a blessing in disguise and we couldn't be prouder with how it turned out."

"Deran Deran Alkheir" is a worthy music video experience. View the full video below, now available on YouTube.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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