The band seeks to promote Amazigh culture and music via an innovative blues style.
Marrakech – The story of Tarwa N-Tiniri, a youth band from the remote areas of Ouarzazate, is one of struggle, hardship, and great success.
The band’s journey began in 2012 with six young friends, passionate about music, using homemade instruments. Drawing inspiration from the culture centered around the desert, the band decided on the name “Tarwa N-Tiniri.”
“Tarwa in Tamazight (Berber language) means people born and raised in the desert and Tiniri is used to indicate the Sahara,” the band’s members explained to Morocco World News.
“We are the generation of the desert, the generation that must take responsibility for restoring the culture, dignity, and trust of the people of the desert.”
Tarwa N-Tiniri began creating music with the aim of giving their region and culture a voice.
The group was inspired by other desert music groups such as Tinariwen, a Tuareg band from northern Mali that has seen tremendous success in the music industry and, most importantly, in communicating Tuareg culture to a larger international audience.
Tarwa N-Tiniri are following in the footsteps of Tinariwen to promote Morocco’s Amazigh (Berber) culture and represent the North African country abroad. That’s why the six young musicians decided to create a band different from any other group in Morocco, with a unique, innovative style of its own.
The band began its musical journey by participating in festivals throughout Morocco and sharing their passion and love for music.
“The majority of Tarwa N-Tiniri songs are written and composed by the band members, while some melodies are written by Amazigh poets,” Tarwa N-Tiniri told MWN.
“The music is performed in the Amazigh language describing the social conditions of nomadic people in mountains and in the desert, but also love, friendship, and peace.”
The band released their first song, “Taryet,” in March 2017. The song has accumulated two million views on Tarwa N-Tiniri’s YouTube channel.
In 2019, the band released its first complete album, “Azizdeg,” with the Canadian label Atty Records.
The band told MWN they aim to show the world their Amazigh culture and transmit joy through their music, “because the best way to communicate with the world is through music, the universal language.”
Tarwa N-Tiniri’s music is rooted in traditional Amazigh sounds and Gnaoua, and blended and intertwined with world music such as jazz, reggae, and the quintessential blues.
The band delivered their first international performance in 2018 with a tour in Norway.
“It was a new experience to show and to play for the first time to the Norwegian audience the desert blues music, as the southeast of Morocco,” the band remarked.
“Showing Amazigh culture in Norway was a huge honor for the band. The Norwegian audience was absolutely amazing and one of the concerts was sold out.”
The young band’s second international tour was to France in 2019.
Reflecting on the French tour, Tarwa N-Tiniri described the joy they feel bringing Amazigh music to a foreign community.
“International concerts allow the world to know more about the Amazigh culture as one of the great and oldest cultures in Morocco and the world in general.”
The first album of the band, “Azizdeg,” achieved international success. The album hit 3rd place in the charts in Mexico, 36th in the US, and 83rd in the UK on Spotify and other streaming platforms.
“Tarwa N-Tiniri is a promising band, and the future of desert blues,” says Arneg Berg is Norway’s NRK Radio P2.
The future of Tarwa N-Tiniri is very promising, as the young musicians, international ambassadors of Morocco and Amazigh culture, are capturing hearts around the world by combining their Moroccan roots with global influences to create an innovative blend of Saharan blues.