Salaad Maxamed Derbi



Reer Barbara 


Awlaad Jacayl 



Salaad Maxamed Derbi is a famous and highly influential singer and songwriter in the Somali music community. At the age of 13, Maxamed started making music officially; however, he had loved music ever since he was young. Even when he was 8 years old in Qur’an school, he was said to have strong inclinations towards the arts, and would often make what he was doing into a song. When he went to university, he studied under a man by the name of Sheikh Halowle and was introduced officially to the radio station. 

On July 1st, Somalia’s Independence Day, Derbi sang at the celebration. While he could not even reach the microphone he was singing into, and he had been placed in the middle to nowhere, this day seems to mark the day he became an officially recognized Somalian artist; it was a wonderful celebration, as far as he remembers. He sang a song called “Kuntomar” — a song from his past. After this performance, he was greatly sought out by multiple radio stations. 

Derbi left a legacy of not only being a stellar musician, but also, according to celebrated Somali poet Mahmoud Sangub, “He was a cool man, and a man who finishes everything.” Derbi himself once said, “I have loved the Somali community since I was abroad and I love it more than anyone, regardless of my tribe, they were people from the same family.” Derbi loved music, but he said, “I never had a relationship with music. There was no name to work in music. I was experimenting with other things.” He saw beyond the simple melodies of the songs, and touched so many lives in his community and throughout the world. 

Derbi currently resides in the town of Faribault, Minnesota.

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