The product of a creative family, K'NAAN fled Mogadishu with his family at age 13. After learning English, partly by immersing himself in the classic hip-hop albums of the '90s, he came to prominence in 1999 with a spoken word performance at the United Nations that caught the attention of Senegalese superstar Youssou N'Dour.
K'NAAN signed with A&M/Octone and released Troubadour, in 2009, which won two Junos, for Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. He has collaborated with the likes of Mary J. Blige, the Roots, Adam Levine, Mos Def, Keane, and Damian Marley.
Following the releases of his sophomore album, Troubadour, K'NAAN was declared an "Artist to Watch" by Rolling Stone, NPR, The Los Angeles Times and MTV.
Country, God Or The Girl, K'NAAN's new release, is the first full-length work since his multi-platinum global smash single, "Wavin' Flag." After a remixed version of the song was selected as Coca-Cola's theme song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup campaign, the song reached #1 on iTunes in 18 countries around the world."
K'NAAN offers a vision in which the personal is the political, but the personal is also the personal. "Being known for my consciousness and activism can be limiting," he says. "I do care about the state of the world, but it's no less true that I care about love and betrayal, heartbreak and pain and loyalty. It's dishonest to ignore parts of yourself just to sustain the idea that people have of you. It would be comfortable for me to just write about politics and consciousness and stay where my fans know me. But to progress musically, I had to open myself up."