yourdaintyshadow:

Al Balabil, ‘The Nightingales’, have been described as The Supremes of 1970s Sudan. A charismatic and talented group of singing, dancing sisters, Al Balabil burst upon the Sudanese scene, adding the richness of Nubian culture to the national pop music mix, and forever transforming the status of women in the country’s performance arts. Their reputation spread far beyond Sudan’s national borders and still resonates today as the far flung sisters continue to record and perform.


Sisters Hadia, Amal, and Hayat began singing together in 1971. They were studied musicians and dancers having graduated from Khartoum’s prestigious Institute of Music and Drama. Their father was an educator, and a brave progressive in a conservative cultural environment. He backed his daughters vigorously when they moved into the public sphere performing folklore from their ancestral home, the ancient, northern kingdom of Nubia, in a national dance group. Their big break came when they worked with composer Bashir Abbas to record the song ‘Mashena (We went)’ a love song that brought instant fame. 

The ’70s marked the height Sudanese music’s ‘golden era’, a time when artists from many (though not all) of the country’s diverse regions came to Omdurman to record for Sudanese radio and television. There, a diverse collection of artists forged a unique, hybrid national sound. As open as that era was, recalls Hadia, “It was very hard for females to be singers or dancers or actors. It was a matter of traditions and custom. So this wasn’t just a matter of music. We were trying to change ideas and traditions. It was a very big responsibility for us. And we succeeded”. 

Al Balabil started out singing songs in Arabic, but gradually introduced more and more Nubian material into their repertoire. In part, this was an effort to broaden the mix in popular entertainment and enlarge the country’s sense of its multicultural identity. There was also a women’s rights aspect to the promotion of Nubian culture “The Nubian people are more modern than the people in the capital”, says Amal. “Even in our language, we don’t have he and she. We don’t have female and male. But in Arabic language, you have this difference. In our dance, in our songs, women and men are together. They are equal. They dance with each other. But when you go to Khartoum, women are separate and men are separate.”


The sisters’ charisma and talent carried them to unprecedented heights of popularity, not only in Sudan, but Ethiopia, Chad, Somalia, Libya and Egypt, and even as far west as Cameroon and Nigeria. In the late 1980s, Al Balabil became less active when the sisters began to marry. Progressive as they were, they did honor the traditions of marriage. “When you get married in Sudan”, says Hadia, “you have responsibilities. In our culture, the female should take care of her kids and her husband”. Marriage also led to separations, as Amal’s husband took her to the Persian Gulf, and Hadia’s to the United States. In part, these moves were encouraged by the rise of a fiercely conservative, Islamist government after the coup of 1989. Life became far more restricted for all Sudanese musicians, “Especially for us”, recalls Hadia, “Because we don’t wear veils, and we don’t wear long sleeves”.

Today, Hadia lives in Virginia, and Amal in California where she works closely with veteran Sudanese maestro Yousif el Mosley. Hadia and Amal come together to perform whenever possible, but it has been many years since they performed with Hayat. The reunion of the three sisters will be a historic feature of the 2008 Sudanese Festival of Music and Dance. Al Balabil remain as committed as ever to their mission of Sudanese unity. “We are all Sudanese together”, says Amal. “In our songs, we use Darfurian rhythms, rhythms from the west of Sudan, rhythms from the south. We sing different kinds of songs in Arabic. So when I meet a Sudanese, if he’s from the South or wherever, I don’t feel that he is a stranger. He is a Sudanese”. Al Balabil’s mission remains what it has always been, to address the deeper problems of Sudanese society through music, “through the melody”, says Hadia, and Amal adds, “In a different way, a beautiful way, just like butterflies”.

Posted on Thursday 5 May with 16 notes.
Radio Nilo- South Sudanese Music

"Yaba Angelosi, The famous South Sudanese singer and entertainer from Nashville, Tennessee"

Posted on Sunday 10 April with 1 note. Via January The Tenth - (hxmaside). Played 29 times.

homaside:

that’s a beat i made called “Sudanna” it means “Our Sudan” from ma next beat-tape

I dedicated it for ma mother country Sudan

i appreciate your feed back i hope you like it

Al Balabil, The Nightingales, have been described as The Supremes of 1970s Sudan.

A charismatic and talented group of singing, dancing sisters, Al Balabil burst upon the Sudanese scene, adding the richness of Nubian culture to the national pop music mix, and forever transforming the status of women in the country’s performance arts.

Their reputation spread far beyond Sudan’s national borders and still resonates today as the far flung sisters continue to record and perform.” -World Music Central

wingtipsandloafers:

Get familiar….

Singing and performing for over six decades with over 300 songs, Wardi stands as a walking Sudanese legend and musical encyclopedia.

The soaring voice of “golden throat” Mohammed Wardi has won acclaim right across the African Sahel and the Arab world. His music always stirs emotion for many Sudanese.

His vocal art is world music, made with an embracing, border-crossing heart. This is one of the reasons that Wardi enjoys a popularity that radiates outward from the heartland of Sudan, into West Africa, to the Berber terrain in North Africa, and other points on the continent, having sold 20 million records in his career thus far.” - Capital Ethiopia News

“I am Sudanese–Italian and I have lived in 3 continents throughout my life – hence, my music is a direct reflection of this multicultural legacy. The North of Sudan, being at the crossroads of Middle Eastern and East/Central African culture has a very particular and ancient musical tradition finding its roots in the Nubian civilisation of my ancestors." -Sudanese-Italian artist Amira Kheir

I am Sudanese–Italian and I have lived in 3 continents throughout my life – hence, my music is a direct reflection of this multicultural legacy. The North of Sudan, being at the crossroads of Middle Eastern and East/Central African culture has a very particular and ancient musical tradition finding its roots in the Nubian civilisation of my ancestors." -Sudanese-Italian artist Amira Kheir

Download your FREE Asya Satti EP!!

Asya is a singer-songwriter from North London. Of Sudanese origin, her early years were spent living in Sweden, Egypt and London. Her love for singing and performing prompted her from the age of seventeen to write her own songs…” -Read More

HipHop from selma-i on Vimeo.

Sudanese rapper Selma Idris

According to her Twitter, she ”is a Sudanese-American emcee, songwriter, reporter and activist who paints stories, incites riots and spits mad braggadocious-like.”

"The Dougie," but Sudanese style.