It is not uncommon for our younger Somali generation that have grown up in the western world to listen to western music and shy away from Somali music. Why is this?
One of the main reasons is that the younger generation who have grown up in western countries do not have a good grasp of the Somali language. This in itself is a problem which may lie with the parents but because of this language barrier it will be hard for them to listen to Somali music and to understand the lyrics.
Why would anyone listen to something that they do not understand? Simply put, they wouldn’t.
Furthermore, our younger generation may not have adequate exposure to Somali music. If one does not come into contact with Somali music then what is the probability that they will listen to Somali music. Zero, would be the probability. Do our younger generation even know where to find Somali music? Is it easily accessible?
Even if it is accessible it does not necessarily mean they will opt for it.
Maybe there are not enough Somali musicians and singers that the younger generation can relate to. I mean only the older generation will understand and appreciate legendary singers such as Mohamed Suleman Tubeec , Mohammed Mooge Liibaan and Halimo Magool. Do we expect the younger generation to relate to these singers?
Firstly, there is a large age gap, so large that some teenagers were not even born when these singers were in their prime. Secondly, the topic of the songs, again, may not be something that the younger generation can relate to.
However, we do have new talent that the younger generation should be listening to such Aar Maanta , but it’s sad to say that they are listening to other things. This does not mean they should be listening to only Somali music but to at least have some dose of Somali music!
How do we address this? This problem of our younger generation listening to western music and not Somali music is a problem that shouldn’t be brushed under the carpet as it is inherently telling us that there is deeper underlying problem which can dramatically impact Somali culture and tradition in the near future.
What can be done to address this problem?