Ahmed was born in East Sudan near the Read Sea, and is from the Hadandawa, the largest of the Beja clans. He comes from a long line of masankop players, and was taught by his father beginning at age 7. Also a keyboardist, he performs regularly at weddings and other events, often accompanied by several dancers, and is well known in the Beja community for his distinctive vocal style. Since 2009, Ahmed has been collaborating with Miguel Merino as the Otaak Band, combining the unique timbre of the masankop, and Ahmed’s Beja singing with drumset, electric and acoustic bass, keyboards, and a variety of hand drums and percussion.
Image © Sameh Wassef