Fresh Sounds from Sudan: 10 New Releases You Need to Hear

Community picks: We’ve passed the baton to Sudanese creative Hala Kashif to curate a list of essential releases from Sudan

Fresh Sounds from Sudan: 10 New Releases You Need to Hear
Hala Kashif (Guest Contributor)

I am Hala Kashif, your guest contributor, photographer, writer and aspiring DJ based in Dubai. These are my personal picks of ten recent musical ventures and releases that I believe speak to the breadth and diversity of the sounds of Sudan.

From the poignant poetry of Haqeeba to the soulful strains of the accordion and the electric beats of Zanig, Sudanese culture has always found a powerful voice through music. Through rhythms and melodies, we’ve shared our deepest sorrows and soaring joys, expressed profound love and lamented plenty of losses.

While the Sudanese music scene has seen many changes over the years, recent times have brought new sounds to the forefront, with trap, boom bap, drill, and 808s now taking center stage. Yet, the beauty of rap lies in its boundless evolution. It’s a genre that transcends limits – a universal language that emerged from the need for self-expression, the desire to unapologetically be oneself.

Today, a new generation of Sudanese musicians is embracing rap as a vehicle for telling their own stories and making their voices heard. Sudanese rap is pushing the boundaries of the genre with new sounds and styles, constantly morphing and shifting. As an aspiring DJ and rap enthusiast, I am thrilled to highlight some of the most exciting new releases from Sudanese artists. With their genre-bending compositions and innovative soundscapes, these sonic gems are essential listening for anyone seeking to explore new musical horizons.

From the introspective lyrics of Tageel’s “Langa” to the hard-hitting production of Shmakh’s “23”, these tracks showcase the talent and versatility of Sudan’s budding rap scene and represent the latest Sounds of Sudan.

Journey of the Unknown Traveler 2 by Taz waves

Embark on a musical odyssey from the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan to the bustling city of Khartoum with ‘Journey of the Unknown Traveler 2’. This sophomore album from producer and audio engineer Taz Waves is a heartfelt homage to the diverse sounds of Sudan, seamlessly blending past and present for a captivating musical tapestry. Featuring 14 intricately crafted instrumentals, each track takes the listener on a journey through time and space with its carefully layered production. Experience a seamless blend of past and present in this captivating musical journey.

‘Fantastic’ by Soulja 

When discussing the current rap scene, it would be remiss not to mention the household name, Soulja. With an impressive and versatile catalog, this 24-year-old SVNBIRDS star is pushing the boundaries of the genre with each release. While remaining true to his native tongue, the king of rhythm is unafraid to fearlessly venture into new sonic territories. His latest release “Fantastic” produced by fellow SVNBIRDS member Fodi, is a fun display of Soulja’s lighthearted personality and style.

‘Langa’ by Tageel

“Basically, this entire song is a flex,” says Tageel, one of the most exciting up-and-coming rappers on the scene. His latest single, ‘Langa’ (Sudanese slang for lingo), produced by Khayyat of SVNBIRDS collective, is a hard-hitting display of lyrical prowess and intricate wordplay on a masterfully simple atmospheric production. As insinuated by the title, the lyrics feature unapologetic Sudanese slang delivered by Tageel’s sharp vocals.

‘23’ by Shmakh

In his latest release, ’23’, emerging rapper Shmakh stakes his claim in the rap game, hungry and determined to achieve his dreams by any means necessary. Shmakh bets on himself while also addressing all the dreamers among us. With Mo Sauce on the trap production, the rapper speaks candidly about the quest to achieve his goals and the obstacles we all are bound to encounter on the road to riches. 23 is a clear manifestation of Shmakh’s dreams.

‘Apocalypto’ by TooDope

It is no secret that much of today’s pop culture is pioneered by Black people. Drill music is no exception. Emerging from the neighborhoods of Southside Chicago, this particular subgenre of rap has quickly spread across the world. From New York and London, Amsterdam, and Tokyo to Khartoum, Sudan. One rapper in particular that sits comfortably in this pocket is TooDope. Starting off with his single “Asly” featuring Eaz da Bully in 2020 followed byلسه, and شقي ومجنون in 2022, sampling vocals by Sudanese singer-songwriter Nancy Ajaj.  Following his latest release, Apocalypto, the rapper says: “Writing to drill beats always came naturally to me, I would have drill beats on loop and just write nonstop.”

‘Farasha’ by AlSarah ft. Flippter & Sufyan

‘Farasha’ (Arabic for butterfly) produced by Sufyvn, is a bold celebration of Sudanese womanhood and femininity, accompanied by a visually stunning abstract music video filled with symbolic imagery paying homage to unmistakable elements of Sudanese culture. The project is a collaborative effort from Sudanese talent across the diaspora. Since its release, Farasha has received mixed reviews, while many of us are fans of the work, others are taken aback by the daring and gallant artistic expression.

You can’t write about Farasha without highlighting the lyrical mastermind that is Flippter, coming in and holding up the mirror, explicitly reflecting on detrimental and backward societal norms exercised at the expense of women.

‘3amyan’ by MoeThePoet

Mohammed Elnour, known as MoeThePoet, discovered his passion for spoken poetry which eventually led him to pursue music in 2016. Inspired by the penmanship of J Cole and Eminem, Moe worked hard to develop his own unique sound. In 2020, he expanded his musical interests and dived into the intricate world of music production and beat-making.

MoeThePoet’s latest release, “3amyan,” which translates to “being visually impaired” in Arabic, is a melancholic yet melodious track that serves as a release for unspoken burdens. According to Moe, “I made the song a day before the release; it’s almost like a rant. It’s a very personal track, and I wanted it to be as unfiltered and raw as possible.” With this introspective track, MoeThePoet demonstrates his artistic evolution and ability to connect with his audience through his deeply personal lyrics.

‘Transit’ by Gaidaa

Building on her previous success, Gaidaa, the 24-year-old Netherlands-based Sudanese singer-songwriter who gained popularity after her COLORS Studio appearance and collaboration with producer Full Crate, continues to soar with her latest single “Transit”. The ethereal ballad, produced by the versatile New York artist Moby, is a testament to Gaidaa’s impeccable vocal range and musicality. As part of Moby’s new record label, always centered at night, the single is accompanied by a short film directed by Segraphy, which beautifully captures the interconnectedness between Peruvian communities, nature, and spirituality.

‘Abn9’ by Fodi

Fodi is a rising multifaceted artist and member of collective SVNBIRDS. He is a singer, rapper, and producer, and his debut project, Planet X, features some of the biggest names in the Sudani rap scene, including Soulja and WalGz. What sets Fodi apart is his ability to seamlessly maneuver through different genres, from trap to afrobeat, and his heavy use of auto-tune. Planet X is entirely self-produced, showcasing Fodi’s production skills and penmanship. His latest release, “Abn9”, further demonstrates his versatility as an artist.

‘Avocado’ by All-moony

AlAmin Salah, known by his stage name All-moony, found refuge in music as he navigated through the difficulties of feeling like an outcast who didn’t quite fit in. Drawing inspiration from experimental rappers like Earl Sweatshirt and Kendrick Lamar, All-moony began writing in 2014. His latest freestyle, “Avocado”, showcases his versatility as both a rapper and producer. With a beat reminiscent of Migos (Rest in peace Takeoff), All-moony smoothly flows between English and Arabic, sprinkled with his signature ad-libs and heavy snares.


If these Sounds from Sudan have your ears twitching, check out our music coverage here.