Sahra Halgan

Sahra Halgan, a celebrated artist from Somaliland, rose to prominence in the 1980s amidst the conflict against the oppressive regime of Somali dictator Siad Barré. Known as “Halgan,” meaning “fighter,” her music became an anthem for her people. Serving as a front-line nurse, she defied societal norms by singing to heal the wounded and inspire the fighters. Exiled post-war, Sahra found refuge in France, living a life of quiet integration, raising a family, and spending two decades away from music.

In the early 2010s in Lyon, Sahra teamed up with Aymeric Krol (percussion) and Maël Salètes (electric guitar) to form the Sahra Halgan Trio. Their minimalist, raw sound gained a devoted following among European listeners and the Somali diaspora.

Their innovative music, highlighted by Sahra’s distinctive voice and activism for Somaliland’s recognition, shone through in their two albums and performances worldwide. Their unique sound was celebrated at the 2019 Transmusicales de Rennes.

Since 2013, Sahra has been back in Hargeisa, Somaliland’s capital, where she established ‘Hiddo Dhawr’ (‘Preserve Culture’), a venue for live music and poetry. This inspiring endeavor also lent its name to her new album.

‘Hiddo Dhawr’ blends traditional poetry, festive songs, love ballads, and political anthems, placing ancient music in a contemporary context.

Through her voice, rich with emotion, Sahra conveys her people’s stories, joys, and sorrows, solidifying her place in the global music scene.

Dydd Sadwrn 31 Awst 2024