The Kennedy Center

Salma El Assal


Originally from El Obain in western Sudan, Salma El Assal has a magnificent voice that hails the roots of Sudanese culture. With her birth name literarily meaning "Honey Sweet Salma," Salma El Assal was born to sing and spread love through her music. Her style has its own unique and authentic flavor. Some describe the sound as a blend of reggae based in African origins, and her dynamic and powerful voice has been compared by her fans to that of the legendary Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.

Salma started to sing when she was a little girl, and, as her talent increased and was noticed, she began to perform at weddings. As her popularity increased, she moved to Cairo, the heart of the music industry in the Middle East, where she performs widely and where she now lives during part of the year.
Salma's joyous and charismatic style has been welcomed with open arms as she introduced her culture to the Middle East and to the rest of the world in ways that have broken musical boundaries and shaped North African music. She has performed with numerous musicians and groups, including Sandaleya, and still loves to sing at weddings because she believes that social and popular ceremonies are the best way to keep in touch with people. She has also performed in many European cities, including Berlin and Paris.
While Salma El Assay has lived most of her life in Egypt, her pride and love for her culture have kept her close to her Sudanese roots.
Salma El Assal