Aar Maanta & The Urban Nomads – London African Music Festival


Considered the voice of the new generation Somalis in the UK, British Somali singer and songwriter Aar Maanta moved to the United Kingdom following Somalia’s civil war of the early 1990’s.

As a lone child in a new country, Maanta turned to music for comfort, absorbing many genres including pop, rock, hip hop, R&B and house. He started studying music at school and then later at university. However, he completed a degree in science and returned to singing.

Aar Maanta produces an eclectic mix of styles blended with traditional Somali music, including the classical oud-centred Qaraami (“love songs” in Arabic) style of the 1940s.

Aar Maanta is now the only Somali music artist in Europe that is successfully fusing traditional Somali music with a variety of contemporary influences. Recognizing this achievement in 2010, Star Africa Radio of Paris referred to Aar Maanta as a “a Somali culture shaper in London.”

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Preview: London African Music Festival @ London (Various Venues, 18-27 September 2015)

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If Aar Maanta’s community in the UK had had their way, the artist who is today considered to be the voice of the new Somali generation should have become a scientist. The fact that instead he is revered as one of the most important musicians of the Horn of Africa…

Artists: Aar Maanta

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