Born in Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada and based in Toronto, Cold Specks' Ladan Hussein describes her signature sound as "doom soul." The child of Somali immigrants, Hussein dropped out of the University of Toronto and moved to London to focus on her music. Her unique blend of soul, blues, and R&B first caught the public's attention after an appearance on the popular British music program Later... with Jools Holland. She released her debut single, "Holland," in 2011, and in 2012 she inked a deal with Mute Records and released her debut album, I Predict a Graceful Expulsion. Her sophomore long-player, Neuroplasticity, arrived in 2014 and featured contributions by Swans' Michael Gira and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire. While touring in support of the album, Hussein learned more about her Somali heritage, particularly her family's hometown of Mogadishu before the war that scattered her relatives, and channeled it into her third album. Co-produced by Hussein and Jim Anderson, 2017's Fool's Paradise featured Cold Specks' first songs in the Somali language as well as performances by Arcade Fire bassist Tim Kingsbury.
by James Christopher Monger