K’naan on censoring himself for success [New York Times]

Illustration by Jimmy Turrell, from a photograph by Steve C. Mitchell/European Pressphoto Agency

On the weekend an article written by K’naan appeared on the New York Times website. In it he speaks on, as the title states, censoring himself for success. It’s a great read and gives a little insight into the struggle artists have with being true to themselves and finding monetary success.

The fox, they say, once had an elegant walk, for which the other animals loved him. One day, he saw a prophet striding along and decided to improve on what was already beautiful. He set out walking but could not match the prophet’s gait. Worse, he forgot his own. So he was left with the unremarkable way the fox walks today.

Right now, the pressures of the music industry encourage me to change the walk of my songs. When I write from the deepest part of my heart, my advisers say, I remind people too much of Somalia, which I escaped as a boy. My audience is in America, so my songs should reflect the land where I have chosen to live and work.

Read the full article on the New York Times website.

Leave a Reply