In spite of the fact that Tinariwen has only played at Oslo World once before, it is still a band that feels deeply connected to the spirit of the festival. That has obviously something to do with the rich musical heritage they represent, and the way they have been at the vanguard of the desert blues genre, making meetings between tuareg and rock music a well known part of the musical landscape. Their international breakthrough, which occurred about twenty years ago, changed modern rock music, its vocabulary and sound. They tore down artificial boundaries between us and them, between what we used to call “world music” and what we simply call “music”. The list of well known fans of the group is long – on their newest album, they perform a varied roster of musicians from Cass McCombs to Stephen O’Malley. But as always, their own integrity and freshness remains the focal point.
Tinariwen comes from Mali. The band was founded by Ibrahim Ag Alhabib in 1979, and the story of the band is tightly connected to the unrest in the area. Tinariwens lyrics rages against indifference and expresses nostalgia for disappearing freedoms and a lifestyle that has existed for thousands of years. They remind us that music is still a controversial, potent artform. They exist somewhere between the artistically valuable and the politically relevant and that is a force field we try to get back to every year. The band will play at Cosmopolite, a venue they have visited many times during the years – the last time was to celebrate Cosmopolites anniversary in 2017. So not only are we proud to present one of the most distinctive live acts around – Tinariwen at Cosmopolite is also a bona fide Oslo classic.