Audio

Five Songs By Somali Singers & Rappers To Listen To This Summer

We round up five standout Somali tracks to bump this summer from Omvr, Robin Banks, Cherrie Hersi, Top5 and Layla Hendrix.


Photo: OMVR via facebook.

K’naan’s been on hiatus for awhile now but that’s okay! Somali artists from Europe to the United States to Canada have been holding it down for him while he gears up to take the music world by storm yet again. These artists, like the artists in our previous Ten Somali Artists & Entertainers To Watch In 2015 list, are killing the game and poised to take over this summer. Below, we’ve compiled some of their music videos and new releases from across the globe.

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“Hold You Back” by OMVR

OMVR, also known as Omar, is Norway’s answer to Sam Smith. In “Hold You Back,” his velvety, androgynous voice is splayed over a funky, electronic beat. The lyrics, contemplative and emotional, paint the portrait of a complicated man (Omar) navigating the messiness of a relationship that’s ended. Showcasing stellar vocals, heart and something to dance to, Omar is not holding himself or his former lover back.

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“Up Next” by Robin Banks

“Up Next” is the Somali diaspora’s answer to Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen.” It’s catchy, upbeat and has an infectious, radio-friendly hook. Robin Banks is the kid who coined the phrase "TT right now,” which Drake recently used as an Instagram caption.

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Interview

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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