Les Filles are from Illighadad, a secluded commune in central Niger, in the scrubland deserts at the Sahara’s edge. They draw on the traditional tende music of rural Niger that inspired Tuareg blues. The sparse music, which is built from a few elements (vocals, handclaps, percussion), is also dominated by women. Lead vocalist Fatou Seidi Ghali is one of the only Tuareg female guitarists in Niger. In lieu of the djembe or drum kit popular in Tuareg rock bands, Les Filles de Illighadad incorporate the traditional drum and the pounding calabash, half buried in water. Hypnotic guitar riffs, driving rhythm, and polyphonic resonant vocals combine to create a timeless sound.
Les Filles de Illighadad