Launching his debut UK tour and coinciding with Eid al Adha, Aar Maanta is at the forefront of a new generation of Somali singers that mix contemporary urban influences with sounds from the hey day of Somali music in the 70’s when Somalian bands such as Litfin and Dur Dur heavily influenced the music of Ethiopia and Kenya.
Considered the voice of the new generation Somalis singer and songwriter Aar Maanta moved to the United Kingdom following Somalia’s civil war of the early 1990’s and set up his own recording studio “Horn 2 Grove” where he mixes Somali music with urban beats known as “Afro Hop.”
Frustrated by what he terms the “lack of modern original Somali music”, Aar Maanta set about changing this in early 2009, with the release of his debut album ‘Hiddo & Dhaqan’. Featuring songs written in the traditional Somali poetic form it featured acclaimed Polish jazz guitarist Maciek Pysz and Ahmed ‘Hudeydi’ Ismail Hussein, a master oud player and one of Somalia’s greatest composers.
Despite the significant increase of expatriate Somalis in recent years, there were no music bands that play live Somali music outside of Horn of Africa. Realising this need and the need to promote his album, Aar Maanta set up a multinational band that reflected the diversity of his musical influences and his base city of London. Aar Maanta is now the only Somali music artist in Europe that is successfully fusing traditional Somali music with a variety of contemporary influences.
Aar Maanta plays Birmingham as part of his debut national tour which is produced by Way Art West and supported by Arts Council England. Called Track Change it marks the launch of a three year programme of tours that will present some of the greatest underground stars for Africa and Asia.