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RISES

Mustafa

When Smoke Rises

    Muslim poet and songwriter Mustafa presents his debut project, ‘When Smoke Rises’, via his own Regent Park Songs label.

    Mustafa’s two singles to date - ‘Stay Alive’ and ‘Air Forces’ - have been met with adoration from fellow artists, critics and fans and serve as a near-perfect introduction to an important new voice in music. Both songs are included on ‘When Smoke Rises’ alongside ‘Ali’. They exemplify a style Mustafa himself describes as “inner city folk music” that finds musical inspiration in the folk greats such as Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Richie Havens but channelled through the contemporary lens of Mustafa’s modern-day Toronto.

    Mustafa was moved to release his own music following the loss of close friends to gun violence. Much of his music is addressed to those departed friends and to his Toronto neighbourhood, Regent Park; a vehicle to honour and affirm the concerns of his community while providing sonic solace for those looking to make sense of their own loss.

    The video for ‘Stay Alive’ prominently features footage of Regent Park, one of the first housing projects in North America and one of the biggest redevelopment projects on the continent. Mustafa’s experience of seeing the blocks, community and culture that raised him transform into something unrecognizable is a story that is playing out in neighbourhoods across the world - the inner city from which his folk songs are born.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Gorgeous downbeat grooves, twinkling piano and shimmering acoustic guitars all coalesce into an organic sounding but perfectly produced backdrop to Mustafa's intoxicatingly smooth vocals. Falling somwehere between neo-soul, R&B and swimming in airy electronic beats, this is a wonderful listen and a great sign of what's to come.

    TRACK LISTING

    Stay Alive
    Air Forces
    Separate
    The Hearse
    Capo (ft. Sampha)
    Ali
    What About Heaven
    Come Back

    Rises

    EP #002 - The Rock

      Second release in this series of three limited edition EP's from Rises. The five track EP kicks of with "Saved My Skin" with its simple drums pounding a lazy beat and guitars playing intricate rhythms amidst crackles and feedback, all topped with fragile vocals. "The Rock" is a more straight forward fuzzy, lo-fi strummed acoustic song, while "Has It All Come To This" is a huge soaring epic, with heavy guitar reminiscent of Radiohead at their noisiest. On the B-side, "Sunday Nite" is a gentle slowie with strummed acoustics, while "She Told Me" has heavy guitars building and building until they finally reach their peak and sink into a gentle fade out. Stunning!


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