Sudanese ‘child warrior’ swaps guns for rhymes

Former child-soldier to release album as a rapper

Child-solider-turned-rapper Emmanuel Jal is set to release his new album in May this year.

The Sudanese-born artist was forced to fight as a “child warrior” in the country’s civil war from 1987 when he was aged six.

By the time he was 13, Jal was a veteran of two wars but was fortunately rescued from the battlefield by a British aid worker and by 2005 he recorded debut album ’Gua’, plus he appeared at the global Live8 concerts.

He has now recorded his second album, ’Warchild’, which draws deeply on his life story and combat experiences, and is released in the US in May 13.

“I believe I’ve survived for a reason,” explained Jal of the album, which was produced by Outkast collaborator Neal Pogue. “To tell my story, to touch lives.”

A north American tour for the album is being organised for later this year, while a documentary on Jal’s life will be premiered at the Berlin Film Festival on February 10.

The rapper is also set to publish his autobiography later this year.