Watch Mdou Moctar bring out the acoustic for laid-back Tiny Desk performance

Performing three tracks from Afrique Victime.

Mdou Moctar

Image: NPR via YouTube

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Mdou Moctar has brought three tracks from his latest record Afrique Victime to the laid-back setting of NPR’s Tiny Desk concerts.

The series, still being filmed remotely under the Tiny Desk (Home) Concert name, welcomed Moctar and his band (Ahmoudou Madassane on rhythm guitar, Souleymane Ibrahim on a calabash, and Mikey Coulton on bass) sat crossed-legged playing the tracks Ya Habibiti, Tala Tannam and Afrique Vitcime.

Take a look at the performance below.

For the 7-minute self-titled track, Moctar replaces his right-handed acoustic (being played upside down) for his left-handed Fender Stratocaster.

Accompanying the release of Afrique Victime, we had a chance to chat with Moctar. He told us about his history of playing left-handed on right-handed guitars, saying: “It was very difficult. When you try to play as a left-hander on a right-handed guitar, sometimes you’d break the strings, and it would fall when I was trying to hold it up straight.”

“It was very difficult. When I met Christopher [Kirkley, Sahel Sounds label boss], I told him about this and asked him if there was such a thing as a guitar made for left-handed people. And he said, ‘Yeah, of course.’ I said, ‘Well, I need an electric guitar.’ He came to Mali with the guitar and made sure that it reached me. That was in 2011. That was a big change for me.”

Read our full interview with Moctar here.

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