Haroun Daoud, Afar music from Djibouti, Radio Djibouti recordings

Haroun Daoud was a transitional figure in the history of Afar music; one of the first musicians to bridge several styles of modern Afar music, from the small 'Arabic' style ensembles to electric bands and backbeats.

Haroun Daoud was born in Djibouti in the mid 1940s.  He threw himself into music after retiring from the army.  In the early 1970s he joined the Groupe Egla-Mao, an Afar cultural group formed in 1963  by Mohamed Ali Talha, a prolific composer of songs in Afar.  Egla-Mao was one of the first groups to arrange traditional Afar songs in the 'Arabic style', that is for a small ensemble featuring oud, violin and flute (the flute is one of the most prominent instruments in Afar traditional music).

 After a spell with Egla-Mao, Haroun started his own group with guitarist and composer Youssouf Abdoullahi.  One of their first successes came with the singer Fatouma Mansour.  They were quick to recognize the talent of a very young Mansour (she was 14 at the time) and worked with her on what became her first popular song, 'Eleeleyyo'.

By the mid-1970s Haroun was often performing with an electric band--guitar, bass, farfisa organ and drums.  His sound echoed musical developments in neighboring Ethiopia.  Haroun retired from singing in the mid 1980s and passed away in December of 2010.

The tracks posted here were copied from the archives of Radio Djibouti.  They feature both 'Arab style' and electric band recordings.  I don't have precise dates for these recordings but they are most likely from the 1970s.  

Haroun Daoud



  1. Very interested in this one... thank you for sharing!

  2. Thank you! Looking forward to hearing it all.


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