Awad Ahmad: The Bana Nightingale [Archives:1999/06/Culture]

February 8 1999

Awadh Ahmad was so called by his fans who greatly admired his beautiful voice which rose high in Aden during the golden era of Yemeni songs and Bana is the beautiful valley in Abyan.
The artist is originally from Abyan governorate and was born in Zanzibar in 1950 amidst the vast greenery of that governorate known for the production of cotton and best agricultural products.
He was fond of music ever since his early childhood and was influenced with the renowned singers at the time especially in nearby Lahj and other Arab singers.
He was discovered by late Fadl Ahmad Al Salamy and Nasser Gharam who admired his voice and told Sultan Abyan Ahmad bin Abdullah Al Fadly who was known for his encouragement of arts and artists. He asked them to adopt him after taking permission from his relatives in the early sixties. Awad started his musical career as the first singer from Abyan.
In 1962, Awad recorded his first two songs accompanied by the Aden radio troupe. He formed a successful musical couple with composer Mohammed Mohsen Atroosh who managed to shed light on the beautiful layers in voice of Awad.
Atroosh had then recently returned from Egypt where he studies music and brought back with him many new ideas and excelled in playing on the lute.
In 1972, Awad settled in Aden and sang to other composers a number of songs including the one titled “Sari Al Leyel” which swept through the gulf.
Our artist’s reputation spilt out to nearby Saudi Arabia and other gulf countries. In the early seventies, he was invited to Kuwait where he recorded a number of his songs and sang in a number of parties.
Awad’s latest participation was in 1998 in Ismailiya, Egypt where he was joined by an artistic and folklore troupe from Abyan. During his presence in Sanaa in Summer last year, he recorded a number of his songs for the Yemeni space channel. He is still singing on various occasions, pleasing his fans with new and genuine Yemeni songs.
By: Saleh Abdulbaki,
Art Editor, Yemen Times