K'naan urged to tone down politics
Published 03/08/2010 | 14:03
K'naan has revealed he was urged to tone down the political messages in his music for the sake of his career.
The Wavin' Flag singer recalled there were people - mainly Somalis - who told him he should consider abandoning his socially conscious frame of mind for material that wasn't so sombre.
"They didn't want someone's shining talent to be wasted on such a disaster," he said. "They wanted to see themselves out there, and they knew there was rarely a chance that you could do it while carrying the baggage of Somalia. So they would say, 'Put it down and just go and be a star like these other people are.'"
The Somalian enjoyed global success this summer with the World Cup song Wavin' Flag, which he performed at the tournament's opening ceremony while holding his country's flag up.
K'naan said: "It had been buried under a rubble of bad stories for 20 years now. Nobody expects to see the Somali flag in a beautiful moment."
But he acknowledged it was difficult to get heard amid the music of Lady Gaga and other pop music.
"Let's be honest, that doesn't get played on radio," he admitted.