Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Search for Home: Alsarah and the Nubatones with "Ya Watan"

Our random tune today is by Alsarah and the Nubatones, and is called Ya Watan. A Sudanese-American singer, songwriter and ethnomusicologist, Alsarah and her family fled Sudan when she was eight during the 1989 coup. Settling in Yemen, they were again forced to flee in 1994 during the Yemeni civil war. They found political asylum in Boston, where she sang in world music choirs and attended a performing arts high school. She then studied ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University. Alsarah formed Alsarah and the Nubatones in 2010 after serving as the singer of the Zanzabari band Sound of Tarab for six years in New York City. The band consists of Alsarah and her sister Nahid on vocals with backing musicians. Alsarah has also been featured in the documentary Beats of the Antonov. You can find Ya Watan as a single released by Wonderwheel Recordings in 2016, and on their 2016 album Manara. The song is an ode to the search for a home.