NOURA MINT SEYMALI
“The absolutely spellbinding vocalist Noura Mint Seymali from Mauritania is ready to claim the role of her famous stepmother the late Dimi Mint Abba…With her strong charisma and appeal to the audience she will become a major star…Noura is incredible!”
Noura Mint Seymali is a nationally beloved star and one of Mauritania’s foremost musical emissaries. Born into a prominent line of Moorish griot (West African praise singers, poets and musicians) Noura began her career at age 13 as a supporting vocalist with her step-mother, the legendary Dimi Mint Abba, Noura’s father, was similarly an important teacher, composed many works popularized by his wife, Dimi.
Fueled by the exploratory sound of her husband Jeich Ould Chighaly’s emotive psych guitar lines, Noura and Jeich formed their first “fusion” band in 2004 after working together for many years as a duo in the local traditional circuit.
Eventually joining forces with bassist Ousmane Touré and drummer/producer Matthew Tinari, Noura Mint Seymali distilled a core sound and began working as a quartet from 2012 onwards. The band’s first full-length album for the international market – Tzenni – was released in June 2014and was recorded in Brooklyn, NY.
Tzenni put Noura Mint Seymali firmly on the map as Mauritania’s preeminent artist. Tzenni charted at #1 on World Music Charts Europe in Nov. 2014 and earned “Best Female Artist in North Africa” at the African Union’s 2014 All Africa Music Awards.
Arbina was released in Sept. 2016. As the follow-up album to Tzenni it received wide critical acclaim, charting again at #1 on World Music Charts Europe, #1 on the Transglobal World Music Chart. Tristan Bath described the band’s evolution as such: “Young griot singers develop by singing for days until their voice simply breaks and disappears, only to eventually return stronger and more agile than before…Seymali’s band have put this electrified traditional music through a similar process with a relentless touring schedule, coming out the other side that much more potent, agile and powerful”