Aar Maanta performing with his band at Pier Scheveningen Strandweg in The Hague, Netherlands.

Background information
Genres Somali music
Instruments vocals, keyboard, oud
Years active 2004–present
Labels Maanta Music

Aar Maanta (Somali: Aar Maanta, Arabic: عار مانتا‎) is a Somali singer, composer, songwriter and music producer.


[hide]*1 Biography

[edit] BiographyEdit

Maanta moved from his native Somalia to the United Kingdom in the late 1980s due to the civil war there. As a lone child in a new country, he turned to music for comfort, absorbing many genres including pop, rock, hip hop, R&B and house. Maanta started studying music at school and then later at university. However, because of family pressure and disapproval due to his Muslim faith, he was discouraged from following a career path in music. Instead, Maanta completed a degree in Science. Eventually returning to music, he now produces an eclectic mix of styles blended with traditional Somali music.[1]

Maanta's first notable performance was in July 2006 at Rise: London United, the UK's largest anti-racist and multi-cultural festival. There, he played alongside Graham Coxon, The Buzzcocks, and other prominent acts. Over 80,000 young people and families attended this event, bringing together London residents from many different ethnic communities.[2]

Maanta has since worked with various other artists including Algerian Raï singer Abdelkader Saadoun, UK hip hop group the Choong Family, and Somali musicians Maryam Mursal and Ahmed 'Hudeydi' Ismail Hussein.

Frustrated by what he terms the "lack of modern original Somali music", Maanta produced his own record with original songs. In 2009, his debut album Hiddo & Dhaqan was released, featuring songs such as "Asalamu Alaykum", "Saafi" and "Dhadhami".[3][4]

Maanta is described by young Somalis in the UK as "the voice of our generation" because his songs discuss a range of issues of interest to Somali immigrants.