The band Tal National was formed by
Hamadal Issoufou Moumine also known as Almeida in 2000. Almeida
had already a successful career in football behind him, and is also active as a judge in local courts and as an
ambassador for SOS Orphan Foundation. He is now guitarist and band leader of Niger's most successful outfit.
He leads an energetic band that plays five nights a week, for sometimes up to five hours! Halfway, the musicians
are being replaced, even in the midst of a song the drummers swap without missing a beat. Of the thirteen members of
Tal National, only six or seven would play at the same time, to be replaced after several hours playing by the
Their songs are partly original compositions or reworked traditionals, based on Songhai, Fula, Tuareg and Hausa folklore.
In 2006, a first album, « Apokte », was recorded, and it was
well received. As recording facilities in Niger are near to absent, Almeida looked for a way to improve the recording
quality and asked Chicago-based recording engineer Jamie Carter to come over to Niamey. This was cheaper than flying
the entire band to Nigeria or Ghana in order to record in a modern studio. With the result, the album
« A-Na Waya », Tal National reached the top in Niger's national music
In 2011, Carter came over to Niamey in order to record a new album « Kaani »
in the run-down studio Maibianigarba. He managed to get his equipment working, where most of the studio equipment was
broken and covered with dust, and the album was recorded during daytime, after that the band would perform at night.
It shows the energy of the band, in a country where everything seems to work against artists. As distribution is very poorly
organised in Niger, the band members sell their albums on the city's roundabouts!
The endeavours seem to pay back, as Tal National signed to FatCat Records in April 2013, and this resulted in the same year, in
a first international album release as well as a North American tour in September.
Tal National (Photo by Jason Creps)
• Band members of Tal National:
Almeida (Hamadal Issoufou Moumine) guitar
Yac Tal bass
Keljue talking drum
Souleymane, Seydou, Massaoudou, Luthord vocals
Formed: 2000, in Niamey
Style: Sahel afro-pop / Songhaï music / Hausa music