Alsarah and the Nubatones

On Men Ana, the latest single from Alsarah and the Nubatones, their East African retropop ventures into new musical worlds: Delicate oud performances and traditional rhythm instruments meet electronic beats, psychedelic synths and jazzy bass playing. Alsarah was born in Sudan, but her family soon fled to Yemen. When that country too was affected by conflicts, they fled on to Massachusetts, USA. Alsarah began collecting tapes of Sudanese pop music from the 1980s, as a way to cling on to some part of her past. These were songs that have come to play an important role for the Sudanese diaspora. Only when she moved to Brooklyn as a young adult did she meet other musicians who shared her experiences as a refugee, and of the missing. And for the first time, she felt she could be both Sudanese and American. Alsarah and the Nubatones recorded songs such as “Nuban Uttu”, so-called homecoming songs, exclamations to bring together Nubians around the world. Alsarah has also released an album with French producer Débruit (Kokoko!) and collaborated with the Nile Project.