K’naan is Working on New Music in Nairobi
It’s been a while since we heard anything from K’naan. Despite performing two new songs in summer 2019 – “Don’t Call Me Up” and “Disgraceland” – and rumors that an album titled Disgraceland would be out that fall, we’re now halfway through 2021 and still waiting. Luckily, it looks like K’naan is working on new music, so that’s a good sign! In the past two days, he shared two Instagram stories indicating that he’s in Nairobi, Kenya with two other artists/producers.
Yesterday, K’naan appeared in a picture with Blinky Bill (Bill Sellanga), and Kenyan artist, DJ, and producer. According to his official site, Blinky Bill’s “style is a blend of African sounds mixed with hip-hop, jazz, funk, [and] pop.” His own album, We Cut Keys 2, is due out this year.
Today, K’naan shared a picture of him with two others. The man on his right is tagged as Rayzak Hassan. Rayzak is a Somali-American singer, songwriter, and musician who also puts out his own songs.
It’s unclear if they’re all working on music for K’naan’s own album or if K’naan’s playing a role in their music. In any case, we’re excited to hear something new from him soon!
Check out K’naan’s recent Instagram stories showing who he’s working with in Nairobi:
Latest K’naan News
It’s been a few years since we heard new music from K’naan. His last album, Country, God, Or The Girl, came out nearly nine years ago. It launched singles like “Is Anybody Out There?” (featuring Nelly Furtado) and “Hurt Me Tomorrow.”
Since then, K’naan spent much of his recent time developing a TV series called Mogadishu, Minnesota. Himself an immigrant from Mogadishu, Somalia, K’naan wrote, directed, and executive produced this show with the intention of highlighting the immigrant experience of Somalis in America. The HBO series was ordered to pilot in summer 2016, with filming occurring in early 2017. However, the show was met with scrutiny, with some Somali Americans concerned about how they’d be portrayed in the show.
Unfortunately, in September 2017, it was announced that HBO will not be moving forward with Mogadishu, Minnesota. In a statement, HBO said: “We value the relationship we’ve built working with the talented K’Naan Warsame and hope to have a chance to work with him in the future.” At this point, it’s unclear if Mogadishu, Minnesota would be able to move to another network, but for now, it seems we won’t get to see it.
Back to Music
In addition to exploring the television world, K’naan has also been working on new music. Late in 2016, we finally got a new K’naan track with “Immigrants (We Get The Job Done,)” part of The Hamilton Mixtape. In June 2017, the song also got a music video.
In March 2017, K’naan was in the studio with Jim Jonsin. That April, he was teasing new songs that aren’t out yet, confirming that he’s writing “a little somethin somethin” that way may get to hear soon. The new songs may include his sequel to “Until The Lion Learns To Speak,” a track from his first album.
Between November 2017 and January 2018, K’naan wrote and recorded a full album with Kyan and Krucial Keys in Los Angeles. We’ve heard previews of several songs, including “Hide And Seek” and “Come To America,” songs we’ll tentatively call “Bad At Love,” “Ha Ha,” and “Those Were The Days,” and some unnamed songs. Sadly, three years later, we still haven’t gotten this album.
In summer 2019, K’naan performed two new songs. Both were rumored to appear on an album called Disgraceland, to be released that autumn. However, this album has not yet materialized.
In the debut of “Don’t Call Me Up,” K’naan explained “his strained relationship with charities.” Ottawa Life reported that, “though the message felt a little muddled in the rush of a concert, it didn’t hurt the song from really kicking into a groove from a musical stand point. He even threw in a sampled call with Lupita Nyong’o.” (K’naan previously dated actress Lupita Nyong’o.)
K’naan also debuted a song called “Disgraceland,” though we’re having trouble finding reviews or recordings of the song. It must be a good one, though, since Roots Music Canada reported that it’s the title of his next album. Sometime in fall 2019, fans were expected to hear K’naan’s new album, Disgraceland. Roots Music Canada stated that the album was “going to be a good one with some nice melodies mixed with K’naan’s thoughtful messages.”
In mid-April 2020, a new song called “Siratul Mustakeen” was briefly available on iTunes, Apple Music, and YouTube. However, it arrived with no announcement and was quietly taken down shortly thereafter. Our theory is that it was a planned single release that was then moved back due to the pandemic; the song’s appearance on those few platforms may have been missed when plans changed. Hopefully, K’naan’s new single will officially come out soon, with an album out by the end of the year.
New Music From Nairobi
We’re hoping that K’naan, Blinky Bill, and Rayzak come up with some great new songs! Moreover, we hope we’ll get to hear them – and a full K’naan album – soon. Catch up on all we know about K’naan’s overdue next album here. Keep checking back here for all the latest K’naan music news.
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