About Me

 

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.

To contact me either write a reply below or send me a mail at andy.morgan@mac.com

  19 comments for “About Me

  1. Akli
    January 17, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    First I would like to thank you for your invaluable help for the poor Tuarge in introducing them to the other side of the world who dosen`t know them.we are realy proud and lucky enough to have and to get to know you. Tinariwen never ever will have a manager like yourself.I am sure they will miss you so much as all we do.

    Tanmirt

    Akli

    • Andy Morgan
      January 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      Thanks for the kind words Akli. But Patrick, the new manager of Tinariwen, is very good for them I think. I hope he’ll take them further than I could.
      Hope you’re well.
      Speak soon, Andy.

    • Victoria
      January 2, 2013 at 3:29 am

      Any updates on Intidaw? We are all very concerned. ~Victoria

  2. murray gordon
    January 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Hi Andy. Nice to see you doing well and making a living through creativity. Saw your link on Dave Johnson’s Facebook page so i thought i’d say hello. HELLO!! Good writing will always be appreciated……hopefully! Take care xx Murray

    • Andy Morgan
      January 20, 2011 at 9:19 am

      Hi Murray…Lordy lordy! How the devil are you? Long time. Are you driving cabs? Living in London? Protag got in touch recently…and Blue Midnight were supposed to do a gig down in Frome, but it’s been postponed until Feb. And now you’ve gotten in touch. So the past keep catching up with me, which gives me a warm feeling I have to say. If you’re in London, maybe we could meet up for a drink sometime with Dave. All the best, Andy.

  3. January 21, 2011 at 11:53 am

    I <3 Andy Morgan

  4. u-cef
    February 1, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    great to see you mate ;]

    • Andy Morgan
      February 1, 2011 at 9:36 pm

      You too habibi. Always a pleasure!

  5. April 7, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    We Love what you doing Andy and what you previously have done, this is a world music Encyclopedia. nice one! :)

    Tahar Momo

  6. Ludwig Cramer-Klett
    October 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Hey Andy, I’m so glad to have found ur site. I’m not sure u remember, we were in touch a few years ago, when I inquired if we could make a little video portrait about Tinariwen over in Coachella. I just saw Tinariwen at a concert last night in Berlin. It was absolutely magical. This band is just so legendary. Really curious to read ur book!!! All the best, Ludwig

  7. Cintas
    November 17, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Hey Andy, I stumbled upon your site while researching about the Touareg people and their connection to Gadaffi. I would like to see the festival au desert this year but all of the talk about increasing instability in Mali, especially with the history of the Touareg and the Mali government, I’ve grown weary abotu actually going. Thr Touareg play a crucial role in the production of the festival from what I have read and heard. I’d like to know more about what you think about the current situation the Touareg people are in and how this might effect the festival. I am currently living in Senegal and this may be my best and only chance to see the festival. Your opinion would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    • Andy Morgan
      December 5, 2011 at 9:51 am

      Hi there,
      I haven’t yet managed to speak to Manny, the boss of the Festival, but the moment, I very much doubt it’s going to happen due to recent kidnappings etc. I could be proved wrong though.
      Best, Andy.

  8. hussein
    July 20, 2012 at 2:32 am

    tanmert Andy so much ,,just want to say you inspiring me so much….go head

  9. November 1, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Hi Andy,
    Trying to find you on Guardian email contact list or Facebook but you’re extremely hard to track down so this is it. I produce a weekly music show at the ABC out of Sydney.
    We read your Guardian story on Mali(and posted the link) from last week and have tried contacting some of the organisers of the Festival of the Desert but phone lines extremely poor. Any chance you could do a Skype interview with us in about 12 hours time – live to air? Are you based in Africa or London?
    Regards,

    Penny Lomax

  10. February 2, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Hi Andy, superb and fascinating piece on The Touareg – I’ve reposted part on my site with a link to yours. Hope that’s OK. I learned a lot from the piece.

    Best wishes
    Keith

  11. February 12, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Love the site Andy….Well done. RB :)

  12. H
    October 27, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Hi!

    Thanks for a really good site. Wondering if there’s any chance to get a copy of Nadia Nid El Mourid’s photo from the 2001 festival au desert (the one with the truck)? Do you know where I could find that?

    Many thanks in advance.

    Kind Regards,
    Helen

  13. tajud
    October 28, 2013 at 6:35 am

    Andy, thank you for exposing Sahara sounds to the world and more to myself. Never heard this music before, it is inspiring!
    REally appreciate your effort you make to promote. Wondering how i can support this wise and beautiful sound.
    So am planning on trip to timbuktu to experience the concert in Desert. Love to know your thoughts & any advice, feedback. Thanks again
    x

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