Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Muslim Nasheed: Dawud Wharnsby Ali

All His Songs are Above and Beyond Excellent

Nasheed: Dawud Wharnsby Ali

Folk, jazz, rock, world, classical, country: musical genres that have been defined and consistently evolving for decades. Many talented artists interpret, arrange and blend these genres with their unique styles. Few though, are able to claim being pioneers in charting a completely new musical niche. Dawud Wharnsby, however, is such an artist. A third generation Canadian with Scottish and English roots, Dawud Wharnsby's recordings and reputation have established him as an institution in the realm of English language Nasheed (spiritual songs of a world-rhythm/folk style, drawn from Islamic cultural and musical roots). In true folk-song tradition, his writings have taken on a life of their own - spreading far beyond officially targeted territories by way of a bootleg industry which circulates his recordings unofficially and uncontrollably throughout the world. Though distribution of Wharnsby's material is difficult to gage, his efforts have spawned an artistic movement and musical industry of young artists hailing from Los Angeles, London, Jakarta and all stops in between. A traveler, writer, troubadour and multi-instrumentalist, Dawud (David) Wharnsby first emerged onto the North American folk music scene in 1991. His debut solo recording "Blue Walls and The Big Sky” (1995), firmly established his skills not only as a crafty lyricist, but also as a powerful vocalist, capable of drawing listeners into his world like a vibrant stage actor or an intimate storyteller. Merging the Celtic/folk styles of his upbringing with sounds and embellishments of the Middle and Far East, his 1996 CD "A Whisper Of Peace” was followed by a string of internationally recognized recordings including, "Road To Madinah” (1999), "Sunshine, Dust and The Messenger” (2001) and "The Prophet's Hands” (2002) - all released through the US based label Sound Vision. Wharnsby's unique lyrical style, warm voice and knack for penning catchy melodies yield a rich reception from his listeners world-wide, who in many cases do not even speak English as their first language. Several of Wharnsby's latest recordings feature collaborations with the likes of UK based artist, producer and peace activist Yusuf Islam (formerly CAT STEVENS) South African songwriter Zain Bhikha, Canadian percussion ensemble The Fletcher Valve Drummers, and award winning producer/songwriter Zuriani (KEB'MO', BRENDA RUSSELL, MELISSA MANCHESTER). His newest CD, “Vacuous Waxing” brings together a unique mix of featured artists, including Canadian songwriter Bill Kocher, UK bass legend Danny Thompson (PENTANGLE, NICK DRAKE, EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL, DONOVAN, RICHARD THOMPSON, ERIC CLAPTON), Canadian folk icon Stephen Fearing (BLACKIE & THE RODEO KINGS, SARAH McLACHLAN) and world renown sitar master Irshad Khan. Dawud served as an executive member of the creative team behind educational multimedia entity Sound Vision for 7 years. He now oversees his own world-music label Enter Into Peace, scouting for new, talented and "down-to-earth" artists to join him on his quest of "Bridging nations and tribes through education and the arts". Frequently assisting with television and video production, Wharnsby has scored or personally hosted programs produced with the support of Canada's Vision TV, the National Film Board of Canada, CBC, and BBC Scotland. As a respected and vibrant solo musical performer, social activist and motivational speaker, he travels extensively throughout the world and often lectures at schools and universities - addressing gatherings of all ages with his inspirational talks and diverse educational programs for children. Though his performance venues have included Toronto’s prestigious Living Arts Centre, and London England’s famed Royal Albert Hall, Dawud (who got his start humbly busking on cold street corners of small Canadian and Scottish towns) maintains a love of simplicity - never straying far from opportunities to share his music informally with intimate audiences. When not on tour, Dawud Wharnsby divides his home life between Colorado, (USA), Ontario (Canada) and Damascus (Syria).
My personal favorite is: "Why are the Drums so Silent?"

Muslim Pop "Outlandish"


Pop: Outlandish

"We started out as 3 friends back in the early 90's. We all shared the vision of being creative in one way or the other, we found a common passion which was music. We went through many fases to get to where we are today and are still evolving as musicians and as humans. We chose to call our style 'Life music' because thats what our music is about. To break it more down we do a blend of: hip hop, folk, soul and pop all mixed with a heavy doze of ethnical elements. We hail from 3 different continents so therefore you will hear some latin, arabic and asian elements in Outlandish. Lyrically we touch alot of topics from love to racism you can say that we are social realistic and we always talk about the society which shapes us all for the better and worse."Isam: Vocalist, Rapper,producer If Outlandish was a body then Isam would certainly be the brain. He writes the majority of the hooks and always comes up with good topics for our songs. Creatively he has always had the overview of where Outlandish was and is headed. He has had a big hand in the videos that we do. The ideas and the scripts come from him, his best has definately been Walou where he came up with the whole idea and also went to Marroco to follow the shootings. Isam has always been concerned of what happens around the world and doesn't feel afraid to speak his mind.Waqas: Rapper,producer The heart in the group. Waqas is a sensitive person and a pleassant figure. He has endless ideas when it comes to producing which is his main thing. In the beggining Waqas was known as the angry young rapper as he was agressive in his style. Now he is a completely changed person and artist. Being married and having a son has had its affect on him and has made him more calm and humble in his lyrics, he doesnt feel shy to share his expreriences he has written openly and honestly about the ups and downs of his arranged marrige which has inspired many. One is never bored when in his company and he controls any crowd.Lenny: Rapper,producer The legs and feet of the band. If isam is the brain who controls which directions Outlandish is going, Lenny is the one who puts in the work of making things happen, besides being a tight spanish rapper with always deep lyrics he is always on the case of all the people involved with Outlandish from management to the record comapany, he is the organised one who can always think and see things in advance, Lenny has a great insight in latin music and we always go to him for inspiration as he was the one who came up with the idea of I only ask of God.
Listen to the one called: "Callin' U"
It is totally EXCELLENT.....

Muslim Hip Hop: "Blakstone"

Hip-Hop: Blakstone

We're just people like you, fed up of being branded criminals for our belief. Tired of the barrage of insults toward our Deen, beloved Prophet, sisters and brothers. Sickened by the ongoing slaughter of those who carry the banner of La illaha illallah. But admittedly there is a difference here. We do not believe in compromise or violence. We believe that the way out is to concentrate our efforts in re-establishing a home for Islam. A place where Islam comes before race, before colour, before nationality and before language. We believe that our parents left their countries of origin (Africa, Middleast, Indian Sub-Continent etc) to make a better life, meaning that back home where Islam was supposed to bring solutions, it had been traded for injustice, corruption and greed. It is on us, the youth of Islam to carry the call for Islam to be re-instated in all its glory so we can take them home again. So that we can make Allah's Deen the highest, so we can protect our children from the humiliation and slaughter we face today. We don't do bling because showing off is not in the personality of the Muslim. We don't post our pictures here because we don't see the need. We don't do bling because showing off is not in the personality of the Muslim. We don't post our pictures here because we don't see the need. Blakstone is about the message the lyrical content, the skills, the mission, the goal. We welcome the support of our sisters and we recognise the frustration you feel when your rights from Islam are not given to you by those who claim to carry it, we also applaud your rejection of the so called "liberation" that your are offered by those who detest your way of life. Hip Hop is not Dawah, but when it is used as a rally cry it touches the youth, our youth, from places the Imams can't reach or fear to tread. Our message is spreading far and wide and in the alleyways of munkar we have seen the yearning faces of our brothers who have found that their love for this Deen can be expressed in new and exiting ways. We have seen many turn away from the habits of jahaliyah and embrace Islam, not because their parents are Muslim, but because they themselves believe. Blakstone is not a person or a group, it's a struggle. The irony is that we want this struggle to end, so those who join us do so, in the hope that they won't have to.
Listen to the 1st one called "Apologies"