Why I Sing

This post was written by guest contributor Yasmin N. Ali.The sounds of violin spun around an increasingly frenzied melody of sitar, tabla and the loud, confident vocals of the lead singer.  He danced and spun around his band mates, all of whom were jumping to the steady beats pouring from the drummer.  The result was electrifying.That was two years ago, at one of my first concerts.  That first wave of real, live music had hit me in the gut.  I stayed rooted in one spot and danced at the s … [Read more...]

Pop Meets Sufi Soul in Rajae El Mouhandiz’s New Album

East meets West and pop meets soul in the latest album from Dutch international music star, Rajae El Mouhandiz, released this past Saturday.But of all the words to describe Hand of Fatima, Sufi-inspired might be the most fitting.The album is a musical meander through the life and times of Rajae, a 30-year-old North African Muslim woman who grew up in Amsterdam and who uses her international background to inspire her music.Released three years after her debut album Incarnation, Rajea’s l … [Read more...]

The Burkha Rapper: Sophie Ashraf

Sophie Ashraf, also known as The Burkha Rapper, is an Indian Muslim female rapper for whom Muslim identity seems central to her art. This comes across clearly in her following statement on the Blind Boys website: Its like when you really like a band, you wear T-shirts of that band, Well we really, really like Islam, so we wear the burkha. I rap because I cant sing. But I love music, so it had to be rap. Soon, the burkha and the rap formed an identity of itself, and people started recognizing me … [Read more...]

Rock On: Saudi Arabia’s All-Girl Rock Band

The internet is abuzz with talk about an all new rock band, The Accolade. Nothing special, you would think, until you realize that not only are the members all women, but all Saudi women.On the day the band made the front page of The New York Times (NYT), their 'friends' on their MySpace page went from 17 to 584. Today, only four days later, they have almost 1,000 friends, over 130,000 profile views, and comments from people in Italy, Spain, Korea, Sweden, Mexico, Germany and the USA (to … [Read more...]

Miss Undastood

A few months ago, my mother gave me the CD of a Muslimah who she saw rapping at a masjid in Philadelphia. The CD is titled Muslimas with Attitude and the artist is Miss Undastood (link to her MySpace page here). She's still a relatively new rapper who has released a few mixed-track CDs. Listening to Muslimah, as well as some of the tracks from her latest, State of the Ummah Address, I felt frustrated and happy, but mostly frustrated.Below is one of Miss Undastood's songs, titled "Best … [Read more...]


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