Audio

Faarrow Finds the Perfect Girl Anthem for the Summer with ‘Lost’

Somali-sister duo Faarrow return with same sound, but a new hit in "Lost."

After a three-year hiatus of “obstacles and setbacks,” Somali-sister duo Faarrow graces the scene to deliver a pop-anthem for the summer.


“You can say what you want about me/ The more you talk I'mma bend my knees/ Prayin' to the good Lord / ‘Help me, please!’/ Why these people out here blocking me?/ I'm just tryna hit the lottery,” the first verse rings in.

The two sisters, Iman and Siham Hashi whose names in Arabic mean "faith" and "arrow" respectively, (hence ‘Farrow’) are Somali refugees born in Mogadishu before having moved to Toronto.

They became the first female artists of Somali-descent to sign a major record deal with a major U.S. label when they signed a deal with Universal Motown.

The duo made waves in 2013 with the release of their first single “Run the World,” which showed the sisters dancing to a jazz-infused pop track. ‘Lost’ serves as a continuation of their confident and colorful sound.

You can watch Faarrow’s "Run The World" below.

 

 

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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