Dua Saleh is a Sudanese-American recording artist, poet, and songwriter based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He creates music that captures the passions of his home country through rich texture and vibrant imagery. Dua Saleh is 26 years old. His exact zodiac sign or date of birth is not known.
Saleh is nonbinary and uses they/them, he/him, xe/xyr pronouns.
Dua Saleh was born in Kassala, Sudan to a family with Tunjur heritage. They are originally from Chad/Darfur. Saleh’s family became refugees of the Second Sudanese Civil War in the 1900s. They fled Sudan when Dua was five years old and moved several times, first to Eritrea, then to North Dakota, Maine, and Newark, New Jersey, before settling in the Rondo neighborhood to Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Saleh attended Saint Paul Central High School and has cited awareness of danger, systemic oppression, and resistance in their upbringing as a source for their interest in community organizing. After graduating from Central they studied at Augsburg University where they double-majored gender studies with Women’s Studies (Sociology).
In Augsburger University they enrolled in two different majors related specifically to women’s issues or sexual preferences which shows how much thought has gone into this young personality’s life choices so far.
Saleh, who came to the United States from Sudan as a child, wrote poetry from an early age. While attending Augsburg University, they began to experiment with music, eventually releasing a demo in 2017.Shortly after, they began to work with local producer Psymun and began performing their music live, culminating in their 2019 EP release.Their music has been characterized as ra, pop, and R&B, although they have also been described as defying genres.
Saleh’s musical creativity extends beyond the written word. In addition to writing and recording music, they have acted in theater productions as well on Netflix’s Sex Education.
Saleh began writing poetry when they were four years old and performed at their first open mic in their senior year of high school. They used poetry to process experiences in their life and continued performing around the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area while in school at Augsburg. Their poem “Pins and Needles” was recorded and shared on Button Poetry’s YouTube channel where it garnered tens of thousands of views by 2017 and over one hundred thousand by 2018. They have also performed as part of the Queer Voice series at Intermedia Arts.
Minneapolis producer Psymun reached out to Saleh after the success of their single, “First Take.” They were eager for collaboration and surprised when it happened- even though they had never met before! Following this surprise connection between two artists who shared similar sounds but live on different sides of the earth, there have been more musical collaborations including performances at the Eaux Claires festival or Void Interlude with Florida’s own Chester Watson.
By 2020, Saleh was already a household name in the music industry. They had achieved success without trying and were still figuring out who exactly they are as musicians. In June 2020 they released an EP titled ‘Rosetta’ giving fans something new while exploring more into what makes them different from other artists on Soundcloud or YouTube.
Christgau described Saleh’s performance style on Nūr as rap-singing while Michelle Kim characterized their vocal performance, noting that it alternated between “deliciously tactile rapping” and spellbinding singing. Their music has also been noted for defying genres in addition to challenging cultural boundaries.
When Saleh was first learning English, they said it “was a struggle to maintain” because of their immersion in Arabic. They are Muslim but not religious in the institutional sense.