Download Andy Morgan’s CV here
Andy Morgan is a full time writer, journalist, researcher and event programmer. It wasn’t always thus. Growing up in the baggage of his nomadic parents (Switzerland, China, Peru, Austria) Andy started writing articles and plays as a teenager. But after playing guitar and singing in several punk combos (Syndromes, Blyth Power) he was dazzled by the whole DIY ethos of the alt. punk scene and decided to work in music and let his writing play second fiddle for more than twenty years. Living in London, Andy worked for Hannibal Records (UK), Cooking Vinyl (UK) and WOMAD (UK) before going abroad to work for FNAC Music (France) and Piranha (Germany). He last paid job was with World Circuit Records (UK) who he quit to set up his own label Apartment 22 at the end of the 1990s. At Apartment 22 he helped to produce and release a series of groundbreaking global electronica records by Sidestepper, U-cef and Momo.
Andy met the Touareg poet-guitarists Tinariwen at the first Festival in the Desert in 2001 and went on to co-manage and then manage the group, helping them to win fans and influence people all over the world. He also helped to organize the famous Festival in the Desert in its early days, writing the sleeve notes for the Live CD that was released in 2003. Like so many people, when Andy arrived in the Sahara it was pretty much love at first sight and he’s still hopelessly infatuated with the desert and its people.
In 2009, however, after plenty of soul-searching and hesitating, Andy decided to give up the music industry to concentrate on writing full time. For the past two and half decades, Andy had been contributing music features and reviews to The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, fRoots, Songlines, NME and Rolling Stone, amongst others. He realised that writing something weighty and lasting had always been his dream, ever since the time he won a play-writing prize at school, and that it was time to devote all his energies to the task. Moreover, the fundamental changes in the music industry required a complete rethink. It was a case of either reinventing himself or quitting the madness altogether.
Since 2010 Andy has focused his journalism and writing on the politics and society of West Africa and the Sahara. He has contributed articles about the Touareg and the crisis in northern Mali to The Guardian, The Independent, Al Jazeera, CNN, BBC Focus On Africa and many other publications. He has also given interviews to BBC Breakfast TV, BBC World TV, BBC 1 ‘Andrew Marr Show’, BBC Radio 4 ‘Today Programme’, BBC World Service, ABC (Australia), CBC (Canada), ARD (Germany) and others.
Andy’s book ‘Music, Culture and Conflict in Mali’ was published by Freemuse in May 2013, receiving high critical praise from both amateurs and specialists in the subject. His next book, ‘Finding The One: The strange and parallel stories of the West African kora and the Welsh harp’ was published by Mwldan / Astar Artes in October 2013.
Andy is currently writing a book story of the Sahara since independence, with a special focus on Tinariwen and the ‘ishumar’ generation.
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