Hassan Samatar, whose last name I have also seen spelled Samater (sorry for any misspellings), is a wonderful Somali singer. He began his career early around the age of 16 in the 1970′s and became a superstar. Although I couldn’t find much about him, he appears to be a unifier among Somali communities focusing more on love songs. He was displaced by the wars and violence, and I believe has settled in Toronto, according to an article on Minnesota Public Radio. Also on MPR, you can hear his song “Heego.”
I was able to find several videos covering various points during his career on YouTube:
A recent performance filmed in Dubai of the song “Leymasiin.”
The audio is a little rough on this one, but it’s a performance from earlier in his career.
This is one of the first songs he ever performed. One viewer guessed him to be around 18 years old.
If you have any additional information on Hassan Samatar or other Somali musicians, please let me know. You can post comments to the site or email me at mnworldbeat at gmail dot com.