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Noura Mint Seymali

DESCRIPTION: Noura Mint Seymali is a Psychedelic Blues artist from Mauritania who draws on Moorish fusion elements to create her unique sound.


ACTIVITY PERIOD: 1990's - Current

MUSIC GENRE: Psychedelic Blues, World


RECORD COMPANIES / LABELS (Current & Past): Glitterbeat, Shellshock



Noura Mint Seymali comes from a family of Griot musicians (Griot (or iggawin) is the term for the musician, songwriter, storyteller, and messenger caste in many West African countries). At age 13 took up the musical tradition of her family and started work as a supporting vocalist with her step-mother, the legendary Dimi Mint Abba. Along with her guitarist husband Jeiche Ould Chighaly, she has carved out a musical career that has captivated the imagination of the contemporary music press as well as earning the respect fandom of the traditional Mauritanian community.

Noura plays the Ardine, which is a 9-string harp like instrument that looks like it is a harp crossed with a bouzouki. Noura was trained in instrumental technique by her grandmother, Mounina, (the ardine is a an instrument that is reserved only to be played by women in Griot culture). She began her quest to become a musician after being inspired by her father's (Seymali Ould Ahmed Vall) musical success who is himself a seminal scholar figure in Mauritanian music.

In 2004, Noura formed her first fusion band with her husband Jeiche who himself is notable guitarist heavilly influenced by Mark Knopfler and whose guitar lines conjure up both Hendrix and Richard Thompson. In 2006 she recorded her first album 'Tarabe' and followed that up with her second album El Howl in 2010. Her 3rd album 'Tzenni' which is partially compiled of remixed tracks from her first two albums and mixed in Brooklyn’s Studio G and engineered by studio owner and former Pere Ubu member Tony Maimone is receiving significant attention from the western contemporary music press and was released to international markets in 2014 through Glitterbeat Records.

Noura and her band has since been engaged in performances at events like globalFEST (USA), Festival-au-Desert (Mali), Hayy Festival (Egypt), Jeux de Francophonie (France) and Festival Timitar (Morocco) and collaborating with artists like Tinariwen, Bassekou Kouyaté, and Baaba Maal.

By: Simon Rashleigh



Parent Category Page Links: Music Artists / Outfits - Mauritania

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