Meet Ladan Hussien, the force behind Cold Specks. The folk-soul singer was born and raised in Toronto and is rooted in her family’s Somali heritage. Her latest release, Fool’s Paradise, is an emotional journey ending with an ode to where she’s from and how far she’s grown.
What was it like growing up in Toronto? Were you drawn to music at a young age?
I went to five schools in five years and didn’t get a chance to learn how to socialize. I was really into Nirvana and I convinced my mother to buy me a guitar when I was 15. It’s been my obsession ever since. I listened to a variety of stuff growing up like Destiny’s Child, The Strokes, and X-Ray Spex.
Tell us about visiting Africa for the first time. Do you have a memorable moment from that tour?
It was really interesting going to Africa for the first time. I’m Somali but I’ve never been to Somalia. So in a way, it was a little bittersweet as I never went home. My time in Maputo, Mozambique was probably my favorite as I spent most of the time in that city. I met some incredibly talented artists including Goncalo Mabunda.
Tell us about your first pair of Dr. Martens.
I bought Doc’s with my first publishing check. I performed on tv with them the next day; I suppose I looked comfy and relatable but my feet were actually probably bleeding from still breaking them in.
What is your favorite song to perform?
I really love singing Solid, it’s about decapitating a lover that never was. I feel real good about it every time.
What are three tracks you can’t get enough of right now?
- Hi Bich by Bhad Bhabie is the song of the year for me.
- The Moon and the Sky by Sade
- Blue Animal by LA timpa
What’s next for you?
B*tch, I’m going on vacation.