April 25, 2024

IMARHAN…ALGERIAN QUINTET. The Magic Moments of Music!

IMARHAN… meaning ‘the ones I care about’, they are an amazing loose collection of friends who began to play together. Their reflects their cultural and generational background; dry guitar riffs, pop melodies and pan-African rhythms which draw on traditional Tuareg music, African ballads and the modern pop and rock the band heard growing up.

Imarhan is an Algerian Tuareg desert rock quintet formed in 2006, in Tamanrasset, Algeria.Their first two albums, Imarhan and Temet, were released on German record label City Slang.

In the year 2022 Imarhan released a new album titled Aboogi, with 11 fantastic songs.

Listening Imarhan, from their first album, we found out that is a very intersting  quartet … with their new album Aboogi, we believe that Imarhan is a great talent of music…

Imarhan members are, Iyad Moussa Ben Abderrahmane, Haiballah Akhamouk, Tahar Khaldi, Hicham Bouhasse and Abdelkader Ourzig.

So one day at the end of January 2022, we had a very interesting chatting, with Iyad Moussa Ben Abderrahmane and Haiballah Akhamouk , two members of the amazing quartet named … IMARHAN!

Athenscalling.gr: Hi my friends! I am very happy chatting you! Welcome in the webzine of culture.

Iyad Moussa Ben Abderrahmane and Haiballah Akhamouk(IMARHAN):Very nice to meet you it’s our first Greek itw!

Athenscalling.gr: Where are you now and how pass all these crazy Pandemic COVID-19 days?

Iyad Moussa Ben Abderrahmane and Haiballah Akhamouk(IMARHAN): We are in Tamanrasset, Southern Algeria, since the start of the pandemic we spent our times in-between Tamanrasset or Algiers or Djanet in Algeria and also in Niger and Mali, we can not wait to visit again the rest of the world. These COVID days have been too long and now we are ready to be back on the road.

Athenscalling.gr: Tell me please, how catastrophic, is the pandemic days for the music world?

Iyad Moussa Ben Abderrahmane and Haiballah Akhamouk(IMARHAN): It’s very difficult because touring give us a bit of money and also because we miss a lot meeting our audience. We love recording music because it’s so interesting to create the perfect songs but it’s so important to play them for our audience, it is was makes them alive.

Athenscalling.gr:I want ask you now about your 2 albums…IMARHAN and TEMET and of course about your new album ABOOGI!

Iyad Moussa Ben Abderrahmane and Haiballah Akhamouk(IMARHAN):Look  Imarhan was our debut album (2016), it’s made of songs we started to create 10 years before the release of it, it’s the real debut of Imarhan. Temet is an album released two years only after Imarhan (2018) it does have the energy of the numerous tours we had around the world, more than 200 shows, meeting and playing for so many people. With Aboogi our new album that was recorded at home, in Tamanrasset, for the first time, you’ll feel more acoustic vibes of the desert, but not only, it’s made of the elements and the colours of Tam and Hoggar desert…


Athenscalling.gr: Your music it is very interesting! But it is very difficult for me to give a name of your music genres. So how we characterize it?

Iyad Moussa Ben Abderrahmane and Haiballah Akhamouk(IMARHAN):We call our music Assouf, it is another word to describe the nostalgia, it is like the blues, or like the fado for Portuguese people or the saudade for Brasilians.

Athenscalling.gr: … And about the lyrics of your songs. How making the lyrics?

Iyad Moussa Ben Abderrahmane and Haiballah Akhamouk (IMARHAN):Our lyrics are our own creations, inspired by both the Tamasheq poetry, ancestral, and by our lives today, in the desert and in the city, about the struggles young people face in todays’ life and the beauty of our lands.

Athenscalling.gr: Today listening from YouTube ΄΄Achnkad΄΄the song from new album ΄΄ABOOGI΄΄, released today 01/28/2022, I was the number 8 of the viewers! It is a GREAT SONG… FROM IMARHAN GREAT BAND! Tell us about the lyrics of your song. 

Iyad Moussa Ben Abderrahmane and Haiballah Akhamouk (IMARHAN): Oh…   Congratulations and thank you! Achinkad means gazelle, it is a reflection about life and our relation to the nature. We should pay attention and take care of the nature because it means taking care of the human. We should protect her and not waste her. Here are the lyrics translation….

The Gazelle.When night falls, the stars disappear. When day breaks, those who love her disappear. This is the story of a gazelle who is forced to abandon her child. Danger has come to her homeland. Peace no longer resides there. Her enemies are legion. It’s a scramble, in which her love was lost. My heart remains, seeking its desire, searching for the one it loves.

Athenscalling.gr: On what occasion was created your album ΄΄ABOOGI΄΄?

Iyad Moussa Ben Abderrahmane and Haiballah Akhamouk (IMARHAN): After two albums recorded in Paris we wanted to record our third album at home, we decided to build the first professional recording studio of the region in our home city Tamanrasset. We called it Aboogi and Aboogi is also the name of the first album that was recorded there. It is the name of the first houses that were built in Tam, and it is the first house of music.

Athenscalling.gr: Any plans, about ΄΄ABOOGI΄΄a new promo tour?

Iyad Moussa Ben Abderrahmane and Haiballah Akhamouk (IMARHAN):We will tour in Europe March and April 28 dates we can’t wait for this after two years of break!!!

Athenscalling.gr: What other music do you like to listen in your free time?

Iyad Moussa Ben Abderrahmane and Haiballah Akhamouk (IMARHAN):We listen a lot to old and traditional Touareg music, the Tinde, which is originally women singing and playing percussions, we listen also to the great Ali Farka Touré, to Alla a fantastic oud player from Algeria…

Athenscalling.gr: And you’re best singer and your best band?

Iyad Moussa Ben Abderrahmane and Haiballah Akhamouk (IMARHAN):… Imarhan!

Athenscalling.gr: Oh that’s a great answer and now before the end of our chatting … Do you know something about my country… Perhaps someone musician or an actor or whatever…

Iyad Moussa Ben Abderrahmane and Haiballah Akhamouk (IMARHAN): Yes Socrates! We like to speak about philosophy, when we were at school we liked to learn about the philosophy because of the depth, because of the argumentation and also because of the debates it produced.

Athenscalling.gr: Now give your message to the world… any message you like.

Iyad Moussa Ben Abderrahmane and Haiballah Akhamouk (IMARHAN): We feel it’s important to understand how we are all connected the countries the peoples the generations everyone everything and we should respect all this.

Athenscalling.gr:Thank you my friends and all the best in your career…

Iyad Moussa Ben Abderrahmane and Haiballah Akhamouk (IMARHAN):  Thank you very much and we hope to meet our Greek audience very soon!!!

Photo credits by  Fehti Sahraoui and Robin Lachenal

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