Grammy Award-winning band Tinariwen returns to India to perform at Echoes of Earth and here’s what to expect from their performance

Hailing from the Sahara region of Northern Mali, Tinariwen are recognised as pioneers of desert blues.
Tinariwen
Tinariwen

Echoes of Earth, heralded as one of India’s greenest and most distinguished music festivals, returns for its 6th edition with a captivating theme, Ensemble of the Wild. The festival, set against the scenic backdrop of the Western Ghats, aspires to intertwine music, art and meaningful dialogues to spotlight India’s biodiversity hotspot. Emphasising the intrinsic connection between flora, fauna, habitats and ecosystems, the music festival fosters environmental awareness through educational discussions, panel sessions and workshops. The festival stands out with its commitment to sustainability, utilising recycled materials and upcycled urban waste for stage and art construction and harnessing solar power at a 32KW capacity. Attendees can anticipate a diverse musical lineup spanning electronica, jazz, indie, afro-beat, funk, world music, folk, soul and house techno across four uniquely designed stages, featuring acclaimed artistes such as the Tuareg collective, Tinariwen. 

"Every year, our themes vary, but the central message remains the same: to spread awareness about conservation and sustainability. This year, our focus is on spreading awareness about the diverse flora and fauna of the Western Ghats. Our two day festival includes art installations created using scrap and discarded materials. Among these are the Chameleon Zelanicus by the Alt Native Artist Collective, the Southern Birdwing Butterfly by Bheemstyx, the Paradise Flycatcher bird by Naama and the Indian Pangolin by Yadhu. Additionally, in memory of the Late Bhogeshwara (also known as Mr Kabini) — the revered elephant with the longest tusks in Asia, who resided in the Kabini reserve in Karnataka and passed away in 2022 — we have dedicated one of our stages to him. The Tusker Stage is a tribute to his memory and has been creatively designed by Siddharth Karawal, utilising recycled materials such as used carpets, bamboo, jute and metal scraps,” enthuses Roshan Netalkar, founder and festival director, Echoes of Earth

Also look out for soul-stirring talents of Sid Sriram and Sahil Vasudeva from India, Singaporean rapper Yung Raja, the legendary multi-instrumentalist Takuya Nakamura from Japan, Modern Biology — a Canadian artiste crafting mesmerising music with mushrooms and plants, Israeli musician Yogev Haruvi, French electronic maestro Lecomte De Bregot; and German music producer and DJ Parra for Cuva.



Hailing from the Sahara region of Northern Mali, Tinariwen are recognised as pioneers of desert blues. These three-time Grammy Award winners promise a soulful and powerful performance, showcasing their unique fusion of traditional Tuareg melodies and modern rock influences with their hypnotic rhythms, electric guitars and poetic lyrics reflecting the Tuareg people’s experiences. For an exclusive look into what Tin.ariwen has in store for their upcoming performance, we speak to the band to learn more about their music and cultural influences.

Your music is a fusion of traditional Tuareg and modern rock/blues. Can you tell us more about how you developed this unique style?
Our style is a combination of our way of playing guitars and the traditional rhythm from our Tuareg culture along with a special rhythm and bass groove that we develop from time to time.

Your songs often feature poetic lyrics. Can you share the inspiration behind some of your most meaningful songs?
What inspires us is what surrounds us — nature, animals, the sky, the stars and our fight for our people and our land.

How important is it for you to preserve and promote Tuareg culture and identity through your music?
This is our only goal. Our culture is dying. At the moment, we are fighting against the Malian Junta and the Wagner militia from Russia in the north of Mali. Tassili (their album) winning a Grammy Award was important, especially for our people, the Tuareg. It gave worldwide recognition to our culture.

You’ve collaborated with various artistes from around the world. Are there any memorable collaborations you’d like to share with us?
We loved sharing the stage with Carlos Santana in Timbuktu and having Tunde and Kyp from the band TV On The Radio recording with us in the desert.

What can the Indian audience expect from your show at the Echoes of Earth festival?
We will certainly play some classic Tinariwen songs and some new songs from our last album Amatssou.

INR 3,820 onwards. December 2 & 3, 1 pm onwards. At Embassy International Riding 
School, Yelahanka.

 srushti@newindianexpress.com
@Sru_Kulkarnic 

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