Artist Catalog

Janan Sawa

Janan Sawa

Janan Sawa (born 1956 Dohuk, Iraq) (Syriac: ܔܢܐܢ ܒܒܐ ܣܒ݂ܐ‎) is an Assyrian musician.

A Catholic by faith, Janan started singing in 1972, at the age of 17. In 1975, Janan's father forced him to marry. He spent 4 years in the Iraqi army, from 1974 to 1978. During his time in Dohuk, Janan would sing on regular occasions such as picnics and family events.

In 1980, Janan fled Iraq and settled in Greece for 2 years. He finally left for the United States in 1982, where he remains a resident. After arriving in the U.S., Janan worked as a taxicab driver for 2 years. In 1984, he was hired by a restaurant to sing on a nightly basis. In 1985, he recorded his first studio album, named "Nohadra", the Assyrian name for his hometown, Dohuk. The album ultimately established his professional singing career, and until this date Janan has released over 25 albums and recorded close to 200 songs.

Janan has performed throughout the world, and has returned to his hometown of Dohuk and Northern Iraq on many occasions. Janan has also appeared and performed live on music television programs in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Janan's musical style is influenced by Assyrian/Syriac Folk, Kurdish and Turkish music. Janan can also perform fluently in Kurdish.

He has been married once and is now divorced, but had two daughters with his ex-wife. He currently resides in Michigan. His brother, Esam Sawa, is also a singer.