Setona was born and raised in the Sudanese province of Kordofan. In former times Kordofan has been a legendary kingdom, the most Eastern part within a series of African kingdoms stretching from Senegal to the Red Sea.
Starting a career as professional singer and musician was a challenge for Setona as a young woman even though one of her uncles was the founder of a so called "jazz band" in the fifties. But acting as a female musician in the public has never lost its connotation of indecency in Sudanese society. When Setona´s family moved from Kordofan to Khartoum, she grew up in a district inhabiting people from different Central African countries as Nigeria, Zaire, Ethiopia and people from the southern and western parts of Sudan. Together with her husband Ahmed, who has been working as a teacher and collecting music all over the vast country, she draws from a broad spectrum of African rhythms and melodies. In her music, Setona combines with ease influences of all those people. She creates a musical mix that has never been done by any other Sudanese artist - pan African music and truly Sudanese at the same time. One shouldn't be surprised to find within Setona's repertoire songs from countries in Western and Eastern Africa she has never been to. But the greatest songs have been kept within the peoples' memories for centuries and as a result Setona sometimes performs in languages (or fragments of languages) she doesn't really understand.
In all countries of the Orient women share a life sphere of its own which is filled up with lots of songs. Within this sphere, that is hardly noticed by male visitors from abroad, Setona learned how to work the typical Henna tattoos without whom no traditional wedding would be complete. She was also trained in specific African kinds of female health-care such as vapor-baths, burning incenses and other ceremonies. Since a couple of years Setona lives with her husband Ahmed in Cairo, where she has established herself as a wanted "wedding-consultant" for traditional wedding ceremonies. In Cairo today she is the so called "Queen of Henna". She takes care of the young women expecting their wedding, prepares special wedding food and teaches the old songs that women sing during the wedding ceremony - in this way she keeps alive tradition in a changing world. With her music Setona wants to evoke peaceful understanding and unity of different cultures within her native country - and beyond. Having served customers like Prince (The-artist-formerly-known-as-Prince) and other celebrities who made special trips to Cairo/Egypt in order to be decorated by her one can say that without any doubt Setona is the best-known and most internationally marketed henna artist today. That has not always been that easy as the first years after she arrived together with her husband Ahmed - a former teacher now acting as a lute player in her band - from the Sudanese capital Khartoum in Cairo in the late 80's she had to struggle hard. But her many artistic talents helped her to step from the status being just another stranger from a different country to international acknowledgment.
But besides all her first profession Setona is still as a singer both on traditional weddings as well as on international stages. Having started as a singer accompanied by only a frame drum whose skin was often henna decorated Setona nowadays fronts a kind of a fourteen member big band, consisting of keyboard, guitar, bass, percussion, brass section and a backing choir. The basic tracks of this live album have been recorded during her last European Tour. Once again Setona drew from her rich knowledge of pan African musical traditions. "My aim was," says arranger and producer Bibi Hammond, "to add to those many influences with in Setona's and Ahmed's songs some more from West African music traditions. As you know I come from Ghana, and some of our traditions fit in perfectly." And so Setona is not only a singer with a magic voice; multi talented she is an actress, both on stage and on the screen, an entrepreneur of her henna business and above all - she is an ambassadress who keeps her African traditions alive in a modern rapidly changing world.
This Live-CD is powered by humanity and a genuine sense of wonder and was recorded at different locations during her European tour. These recordings are original, spontaneous and authentic.
Tracklist: 1. Tagalimo 6:06 // 2. Komssou 5:11 // 3. Tarazina 7:35 // 4. Ma Schufna 6:05 // 5. Eye of the Hunter 3:45 // 6. Manzar 4:00 // 7. Mani Ini 4:47 // 8. Banduluy 7:44 // 9. Adjeko 12:08 // 10. Intro (Eye of the Hunter) 2:36 // 11. Labis Toubo 4:26