Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Somali singer K'naan writes songs from a Swahili-Arabic-African background

Originally uploaded by Jazmin Million
From K'naan's song, "Fatima," I learned the Swahili-Arabic words "upendo," which means "love," and "habibi," which means "sweetheart."

K'naan, born Keinan Abdi Warsame in 1978,[2] is a Somali-Canadian poet, rapper and musician, says Wikipedia.

Born in Mogadishu, Somalia,[3] K'naan spent his childhood in Mogadishu[4] and lived there during the Somali Civil War, which began in 1991. His aunt, Magool, was one of Somalia's most famous singers. K'naan's grandfather, Haji Mohamed, was a poet. K'naan is a Muslim. His name, K'naan, means "traveller" in the Somali language.

His family moved to the Toronto, Ontario neighbourhood of Rexdale, where there was a large Somali Canadian community.[5] His family still lives there. In his new country, K'naan began learning English, some through hip hop albums by artists like Nas and Rakim. Despite speaking no English, the young K'naan taught himself hip hop and rap diction, copying the lyrics and style phonetically.

K'naan toured with Jason Mraz during the summer of 2009 for Mraz's Gratitude Cafe Tour. He is currently on tour with Lenny Kravitz on the LLR tour.

A remixed version of K'naan's single "Wavin' Flag" has been chosen as the Coca-Cola anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, to be held in South Africa.[15]

Recordings -
# 2005: The Dusty Foot Philosopher (BMG Music)
# 2007: The Dusty Foot on the Road (Wrasse Records)
# 2009: Troubadour (A&M/Octone)