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Wednesday, February 21, 2024


    K’naan’s song “Refugee” wins Best Song for Social Change, becoming the first Somali Grammy winner.

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    Somali Magazine – SomaliaThe influential song “Refugee,” which he co-wrote with Gerald Eaton and Steve McEwan, has won the 2024 Grammy for “Best Song for Social Change” for Canadian musician K’naan. K’naan’s “Refugee” stood out at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards for both its message and artistic quality as it honoured the best in music from the previous year. At the Arena in Los Angeles, Trevor Noah served as host. This prize honours K’naan’s profoundly meaningful message amid the world’s refugee crisis—a theme that has permeated much of his artistic and personal endeavors.

    After a decade-long retirement, K’naan returned to the music arena with “Refugee,” his first and sole release in 2023 since his 2012 duet on “Nothing to Lose.” K’naan, best known for his 2010 single “Wavin’ Flag,” which became the World Cup’s unofficial anthem, has continually included social and political topics into his music, using it as a platform to promote change and awareness. K’naan’s Grammy triumph represents a watershed moment in his career, cementing his position as a voice of conscience in the music industry. With roots in Mogadishu and a life story that transcends continents, his work captures the perspectives of the uprooted, marginalised, and resilient.

    Drawing on his own experiences and the rich tapestry of Somali poetry, K’naan’s “Refugee” is both an ode and a reclaiming of identity for people uprooted by conflict. In an Instagram post, he wrote, “In the dictionary,’refugee’ refers to a displaced person, fugitive, or outcast. In Somali, the phrase conjures up images of drifters and the homeless. I wanted to write a song that felt like a home for those of us who had become homeless as a result of violence.

    The song’s reception and accompanying music video, which has had over 221,000 views since its June 2023 debut, demonstrate the significant influence of K’naan’s message.

    The Recording Academy established the Best Song for Social Change Special Merit Award in 2022 to recognize music that addresses social issues and has a beneficial worldwide impact.

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