2010 promises to be a huge year for Somali-born, Canadian musician K'naan.Tomorrow night, he'll be playing a sold-out show at The Orpheum as part of The Cultural Olympiad, and his hit Waving Flag has become an unofficial Olympic anthem.
What makes this artist unique, however, is not his success, but how he chooses to use it.
Drawing from a violence-filled youth and his experience as a refugee in North America, K'naan creates music with a strong social conscience. This was recognized in his performance for Free The Children's Vancouver We Day, in September, where he performed for 16,000 youth; and now, he's once again using his music to make a difference in the world.
This past week, some 50 Canadian artists, dubbed Young Artists For Haiti, gathered at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver to record a new version of K'naan's hit Waving Flag, this one, to raise money for Haiti. So far, with the exception of K'naan, their names are being kept top secret.
Fans, however, are speculating that many of the artists in town for The Cultural Olympiad will be lending their voices to the track.
K'naan's Facebook status last Thursday read, "A special moment. Just landed in vancouver. We're at Warehouse studios with 50 young Canadian artists recording the newest incarnation of "Wavin Flag". Come and become a fan of Young Artists For Haiti . Magic is in the room, so stay tuned!"
Craig Kielburger was also in town for the recording. A week ago he tweeted, "Just landed in Vancouver! Not here for the Olympics, but an event for #Haiti. But the Olympic spirit is everywhere!"
Proceeds from the song will be donated to Craig's organization Free The Children, as well as War Child Canada, and World Vision.
Interviewing Craig at Vancouver's We Day 2009