Mdou Moctar's Tuareg 'Purple Rain' Remake Soundtrack

The soundtrack to the Nigerien 'Purple Rain' remake 'Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai', by Mdou Moctar is now available through Sahel Sounds.

Earlier this year, we reported that a soundtrack for the feature-length film Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai (Rain the Color Blue with a little Red in it) — a Niger-based film inspired by Prince's 1984 cult classic Purple Rain and Jimmy Cliff's 1973 film The Harder They Come — was in its final stages of mixing. The 11-song soundtrack is now here, recorded over the last two years by Tuareg guitarist Mdou Moctar, who's also the star of the musical film documenting his experience as an up-and-coming artist striving to make it in Niger's guitar scene.

The soundtrack includes somber acoustic compositions as well as instrumental recordings, some of which Mdou Moctar and his team created under a tree using a portable amplifier. Much like Prince's classic Purple Rain album, the Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai Soundtrack also boasts moody electric guitar riffs and solemnly crooned melodies. Stream the full soundtrack below and purchase it on vinyl or by digital download via Sahel Sounds.

Photo courtesy of Ransom Beatz.

Ransom Beatz Is Utilizing YouTube to Create Beats

The Abuja-based producer's YouTube channel, known for afrobeats, trap, and drill "type beats," has amassed almost 70,000 subscribers and over 10 million views. It's led him to produce for Dizzee Rascal, 6ix9ine, Runtown, and many others.

The place of producers in Nigerian music, and its recognition as a global phenomenon, is becoming a focal point of discourse. Like artists, Nigerian producers depict the creative ingenuity that abounds in the country. Amongst new generation talents like P.Priime, Telz and London is Ransom Beatz, who's staking his claim to the evolution of Nigerian music through unconventional means. The producer, born John Iyinbor, is wielding tech to carve a niche that'll hatch a breed of new generation talents.

Without enough tutelage to kickstart a career in music production, Ransom Beatz latched onto a YouTube-led approach, a path less treaded by Nigerian producers. Through this approach, he bases his beat production on user demand rather than mere intuition. To put it simply, he makes the type of beats people are searching for on YouTube. His rendition of "Beat My Meat" by Ugly God was a turnaround in his channel, garnering over 7 million views. "I didn't understand how well it performed until I checked my AdSense," he said. His YouTube channel, now known for afrobeats, trap and drill has since garnered almost 70,000 subscribers and over 10 million views.

Through YouTube, Ransom Beatz is collaborating with heavyweights across the world. In 2019, he produced "Goosebumps" from the comeback project of Nigeria's Runtown. In 2020, he alongside his crony Ramoon, also a [Moroccan] YouTube producer, made the beat for "Yaya" by US rapper 6ix9ine. He also produced "Smoke" by British rappers Big Tobz and Dizzee Rascal. Recently, he produced four tracks off Runtown's new project, Sound God Fest Reloaded, including "Mama Told Me" featuring Made Kuti.

The Abuja-based producer is earning his wings far away from Lagos, Nigeria's music hotspot. He debates the highly-perceived importance of the city in a producer's trajectory. "I strongly believe it's not about being in Lagos. I make music and get my sales from my room." In February, Ransom Beatz became the only Nigerian producer with over a million streams on Beatstars, a feat he says "validates the efforts I put into producing and driving traffic to my store".

Here, the producer delves into the burgeoning succession of Abuja as a buzzing city for music and infusing his tech and accounting knowledge with being a producer.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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