Monday, March 22, 2010

K'NAAN Vanity Fair Artist Feature Profile Regarding World Cup, Somali & Music

(main photo by & courtesy of Piet Suess)

On adolescent life in Mogadishu. It had its positives. The physical nature of the country, it’s a really beautiful place. All the people, the culture and your own language and your family—the valuable things. Eventually, it was the war. Of course, like war does, it ruins those things. We lived in a time of turmoil. We lost people. Eventually, we were fortunate to get out on one of the last commercial flights to leave the country, and we came to New York City.

How his years in Mogadishu shaped his music. I wrote a lot about those experiences as a form of therapy. They were the kinds of songs that I had to get out. Not the kinds of songs that you had to create and search for.

On what “Wavin’ Flag” says to him about Somalia and Africa as a whole. When I sing “Born to a throne/stronger than Rome/but Violent prone/poor people zone,” it says a lot about the state of the continent in general. The former glory that everyone attributes to Africa, its accomplishments, its enlightenments, and ancient traditions—that is great, but where are we now? It’s all that we’ve been, so what are we now?

On Africa’s first-ever World Cup and what it means to South Africa and the continent. It’s a huge matter of African pride. To a lot of people on the continent, it's a moment of recognition and solidarity between them. The world gets to experience African people on their own continent, which is a really nice moment for South Africa.

On his first trip back to Somalia since he left. It was everything Somalia is: Complicated, beautiful, amazing, and dangerous all at the same time. (source)

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