A Somali greatest artists Ahmed Ismail Hussein “Hudeydi” known as the “King of Oud”, has died on Tuesday as a result of complications of COVID-19. He was 92.
born in Berbera in 1928, huddeydi spent his childhood and teenage years in Aden, Yemen, before returning to Somaliland as a young adult where he changed the face of Somali music forever, throughout the late ’50s and ’60s, he became a key figure, as a composer and musician, alongside his peers, during the anticolonial movement and decolonisation period.
in short, his music embodied the sound of the long struggle to freedom and independence . in the ’70s and ’80s when Somali music was at the height of its success, Huddeydi’s popularity and musical reach grew and went beyond Somalia and the Somali region as he began to tour internationally and was given the nickname of “Hudeydi” as well as the king of oud. he was one the founding fathers of modern Somali music.
Hudeydi moved to London in the early ’90s during the civil war outbreak and his home in London was a cultural and artistic hub for artists and young music lovers to come together and learn from the master himself, he offered oud lessons to young people and it was a place for his peers and colleagues to meet, reminisce on the golden past and make new connections. said Hanna Ali, director of the London-based Kayd Somali arts organisation
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