The people of Somalia just do not have a voice. They are to me the most forgotten people in the world.
The only way I see the world now is through coming out of and growing up and living in Somalia. In the time of war, everyone was basically trying to live and manage the best they could. But you also had another period which was not a hard time at all - it was just a beautiful time. I lived in both eras.
You have to let the world speak to you and then you speak, you know, so I'm in that moment now where I'm finding the world's voice.
Art isn't held with the same high regard as it is after success. In any country, in any language, you're a loser if you're making music until you prove otherwise.
I'm an optimist about other people. I'm not an optimist about myself.
I am one of those people that's never been really cynical about life, you know.
I'm not about trying to get and get and get. I feel good when I get, but I kind of feel better when I give.
I'm writing from a place of - a center of authenticity, somewhere that only I know how to write from.
The poetry I grew up on is really an intense form of poetry; it's so pure and powerful.
I enjoy mediation. I think the artist's position is often to mend the things we feel are broken. Whether that's between two cultures or two thoughts. We're always trying to reach, trying to expand something.
I faced quite a few challenging times, and in front of those, I was more positive than some people not facing those conditions. I'm actually of the belief now that it is that struggle that offers you that open-hearted hope.
I think it's a mistake to work on success in career. I've worked on my passions obsessively. How can I say what I want to say more precisely than the last time I said it? Success is such an elusive concept. When you work for it, I think you get it in a way you might regret it.
It was interesting to find how dominating American vision is all over the world. I think there's something to be said about the world's mindset and its economics and all of that, and I think it affects the way we see ourselves and it affects music.
It was not my dream to be an artist. How could it have been? I thought, artist, much like a leader, was something you either were or weren't. Never something you set out to be.
To reach your goal authentically is probably, in the end, going to mean much more to you than having reached it in a false way.
Hip-hop in Africa has been very often a duplication of an American experience, but in a context that's totally alien to it.
I don't feel political most of the time. Sometimes I'm placed in positions because no one else will go there.
It's not really that I'm interested in filmmaking. I'm interested in the instrument of it, you know.
Somalis really are very musically sophisticated, and they're about their own thing.
I have moments of darkness, of anger, and moments of rage. They do creep up at the most inopportune times. Not to recognize that in my music would give people a sense of sainthood that I don't necessarily have or even want to have.