Photo by Matthew Tinari
Noura Mint Seymali comes from a long line of visionary musicians. As a scholar and artist, her father Seymali Ould Ahmed Vall was instrumental in opening Mauritanian music to the world. He devised the first system for Moorish melodic notation, adapted music for the national anthem, and composed works popularised by his wife and Noura’s stepmother Dimi Mint Abba. From her beginnings as a teenaged backing vocalist for her stepmother, Noura Mint Seymali now drives the family’s legacy forward, even as she and her band re-calibrate Moorish music for the present.