Saturday, February 04, 2006

Interview with Emmanuel Jal

No singer in the world fits the label "soul rebel" better than the Sudanese rapper Emmanuel Jal, who launches a UK tour in Manchester this month. This former boy-soldier now sings in the service of the Christian church. His album Ceasefire, nominated for a BBC Radio 3 world music award, is, he says, "my way of passing on the message that has been in my heart for a long time: simply, peace and love. Our land is big, and there's plenty for people to share. We don't have to kill each other."

His voice is light, sincere and boyish as he talks about his short but eventful life. His earliest memories are of war songs: "Men chanting, women ululating, songs to celebrate victory, and to console them for the loved ones they lost." The drum-backed music of the villages was a peaceful kind of rap, he says, but in his town the music was for war.

You can find the full interview here

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