Somali musician Aar Maanta will join a host of other entertainers at the UK Somali Summer Festival, which takes place at the Rich Mix Cultural Foundation in London, UK on Monday 30 May.
Aar Maanta is a singer, songwriter who has embraced an eclectic mix of styles with influences from rock and reggae jostling with traditional Somali music. Born Hassan-Nour Sayid in Jijiga in the Somali Region of eastern Ethiopia, Maanta spent his early years between this town and his family home in northern Somalia. He moved to the UK at the end of the 1980s, on the eve of the civil war in Somalia.
Now a prominent member of the Somali musical community in the UK, Maanta fronts The Urban Nomads, a multinational and multi-talented collective consisting of Italian bass player Ruth Goller, British/Caribbean saxophonist and keyboard player Josh, French guitarist and sound engineer Thibaut Remy, and Nepalese/Scottish drummer Pharoah Smeaton Russell. Each member of the band brings a unique musical knowledge and background experience to the mix, creating a distinct sound that reflects the diversity of Aar’s musical influences.
Lyrically Maanta’s songs are written in the traditional Somali poetic form, using allegory and alliteration to address issues of relevance to Somali immigrants. Driven by his desire to address issues relevant to Somali immigrants, in April this year Maanta released a new single, ‘Tahriib’.
Also performing at the UK Somali Summer Festival will Autumn Shariff, a singer with roots in Somalia. Shariff started performing in bars and at open mic nights in London before going on to open for British band Lawson at Indigo club at The 02 arena in 2014. Within months she was embraced by her hometown and the Somali community, leading to more gigs.
The one-day event will feature stand-up comedian Prince Abdi, poet Aaden Muuse Haybe, playwright Firdos Ali and award-winning British-Somali author Nadifa Mohamed, who will be reading a chapter of her latest novel, The Orchard of Lost Souls. The festival will be hosted by Baar Hersi and Muna Osman.
For more information, visit the UK Summer Somali Festival Facebook page