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.

“Intro” by Cherrie Hersi

“Intro” serves as a teaser for Cherrie’s highly anticipated debut album. Cherrie’s ambient R&B sound can be likened to Jhene Aiko. When Cherrie was younger, she left Finland due to racism, before settling in the so-called “ghetto” part of Stockholm, Sweden. “Intro” elegantly and briefly tackles all these heady concepts in under two minutes.


“Shirt Off Shawty” by Top5

Hassan Top5, known for taking his shirt off and posing with celebrities, released this video last summer. The response has been fantastic. He’s also gaining popularity among Somalis, for putting us on. K’naan even gave him a shout-out for “Hall of Fame,” a song featuring Robin Banks.


“1995” by Layla Hendrix

Layla Hendrix is the truth and “1995” is the only proof we need. Rapping and singing over the beat from Kid Cudi’s “Day ’N’ Nite,” Layla delivers a song about smoking weed and being young.

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Images courtesy of Kayode Kasum

Kayode Kasum’s Quarantine Watchlist

From 'Wives on Strike' to 'Goodwill Hunting' here's what the Nigerian filmmaker is watching while stuck at home in Lagos.

Kayode Kasum, like most filmmakers, has been stagnated by the coronavirus pandemic. The director behind the blockbuster Sugar Rush and the critically acclaimed Oga Bolaji was working on the post-production of his upcoming movies, The Fate of Alakada: Party Planner and Kambili—a collaboration between FilmOne Entertainment and Chinese Huahua Media— when the Nigerian government announced the lockdown order.

While post-production on Alakada has concluded, the stay-at-home orders have delayed work on Kambili. "Since the team cannot meet at a single point, we are moving hard drives left and right," he says to me over the phone from his home in Lagos. "It is a challenge, but the beautiful thing about a challenge is, when you make it work, it is fulfilling."

Still from 'Kambili'

Kasum has turned to books and films for an escape from the unpleasant realities of the pandemic. "I have been reading Elnathan's books: Born on a Tuesday and Becoming Nigeria," he tells me. "I have also been reading film directing books, Directing Actors by Judith Weston." However, Kasum longs for the movies. "I miss going to the cinemas; I miss that experience," he says. "There are times during this pandemic that I'm like 'na wa o, I wish I can go to the cinema.'"

Below are five films he recommends you watch during this pandemic.

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