Toumast means identity in Touareg and through the music of Toumast one truly embarks on a journey to discover a culture.
"Moussa Ag Keyna was born in the north of the Azawagh valley, a remote region running on each side of the border between Niger and Mali.
In 1987, he left his homeland to join the Touareg political movement, which prepared an offensive attack for the recognition of the Touareg people. During slack periods, Moussa learned to play the guitar in the ishumar style, using the melodies of the traditional repertoire as a starting point, as his elders, the group Tinariwen, would later do. In 1993, his right leg was seriously wounded in combat and he was taken to France, where thanks to the benevolence of a few associations, doctors and private medical centers, he recovered partial use of his leg. In 1995, he got word that 12 of his comrades in arms had been assassinated. In reaction, Moussa wrote the song 12 moons and started the Toumast band. His guitar and music would now become his only weapon to help people know of the Touareg society. After ten years spent in France and several collaborations with Western musicians including the Digital Bled project, Toumast's first album, "Ishumar", is recorded in 2005 with Dan Levy.
The songs presented here blend the poetry and blues of the desert with western arrangements. This unique production is a testimony to the years of turmoil and of the Touareg people, brought to a new level in music and hopefully, to the attention of many more."