Over three years ago we launched Baha’i Blog’s YouTube channel, where we set out to create our very own original Baha’i-inspired video content. Now, with over 350 videos on our channel, we have a variety of content to offer, including informative animations like What is the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program?, our popular music series called Studio Sessions, Baha’i-inspired talks, our short film series on creatives called The Art Of…, and the funny What’s That Word? educational series aimed at junior youth.
We are excited to be a part of the steadily growing ecosystem of Baha’i-inspired video content online, and we also contribute to this ecosystem by helping and collaborating with others to make specific videos such as The Last Time I Saw My Father and the short film Switch.
Over the last Baha’i year (from Naw-Ruz 2018 to Naw-Ruz 2019), Baha’i Blog’s YouTube channel had over 1.4 million views, and we thought it would be interesting to count down our 10 most popular YouTube videos of this last year, starting with number ten:
In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, Tom Francis sings “Say God Sufficeth” from the Writings of the Bab. It was filmed and recorded in Los Angeles, USA, in August 2015. Tom is a New Zealander currently living in Australia, and he helped us organise the Studio Sessions we recorded in the Gold Coast, Australia, but unfortunately he got sick just before the recording and couldn’t sing. Luckily, we were recording Studio Sessions in Los Angeles a few months later and he was performing at the ABS conference in California. As soon as he landed, he came straight from the airport to the studio to record this song, and his cover of Doug Cameron’s Mona with the Children. You can also check out Tom Francis’ interview with Baha’i Blog here: From Up There: An Interview with Tom Francis
In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, we’re in Johannesburg, South Africa with the Joburg Baha’i Choir who sing “Be a Baha’i” based on the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha. This song was filmed and recorded in Johannesburg, South Africa, September 2017, and you can also watch the second Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions song by the Joburg Baha’i Choir, sung in Xhosa here: “O Thixo” by the Joburg Baha’i Choir.
In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, we’re in Vancouver, Canada with Sahar Zandieh and Hoda Toloui-Wallace who sing “Find Me”, based on the Writings of Baha’u’llah. Hoda and Sahar appear in a number of other Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions from Vancouver, including “Blessed Is the Spot” by Friends in Vancouver.
In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, Meredith and Arman sing “O Son of Spirit”, based on one of the Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah: “O SON OF SPIRIT! Noble have I created thee, yet thou hast abased thyself. Rise then unto that for which thou wast created.” This song was filmed and recorded at the SoulPancake studio in Los Angeles, USA, and you may also enjoy their other Studio Sessions recording here: “O Man of Two Visions” by Meredith & Arman
In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, Sam, Tevita and Sione Cocker, three brothers originally from Tonga and living in Australia, sing the “Unity Prayer” based on a prayer by Baha’u’llah. This song was filmed and recorded in Brisbane, Australia, February 2016. They also appear in this Studio Session from Brisbane, “At All Times” by JYSEP Goodna, which is included in this top 10 list as well.
This wonderful group of youth who called themselves “JYSEP Goodna” are engaged in a variety of social action initiatives in the Goodna area of Queensland, Australia, just outside of Brisbane. They came into the studio to sing “At All Times”, based on the following excerpt from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha: “At all times do I speak of you and call you to mind. I pray unto the Lord, and with tears I implore Him to rain down all these blessings upon you, and gladden your hearts, and make blissful your souls, and grant you exceeding joy and heavenly delights…”.
In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session filmed and recorded in Paget, Bermuda, Christina Frith, Julia Frith and Jeffrey Marshall sing “Ya Baha”. In Islam there is a tradition that among the many names of God, one was the greatest; however, the identity of this Greatest Name was hidden. Baha’u’llah has confirmed that the Greatest Name is “Baha”, and the lyrics of this song are in Arabic, and are based on invocations using some of the Names of God: “Ya Baha’u’l-Abha, Ya Aliyyu’l-Ala, Ya Sahibu’z-Zaman” meaning “O Thou the Glory of the Most Glorious, O Thou the Exalted, the Most Exalted, O Lord of the Age”.
In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, brothers Denzil and Ephrim Aumua sing “The Fire”, based on an excerpt from a Tablet by Abdu’l-Baha. The song was filmed and recorded at music legend Louie Shelton’s home studio in the Gold Coast, Australia, July 2015. If you enjoyed this song, then you’ll also enjoy the Aumua brothers’ second song on Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions called “He May Soar”.
This hauntingly beautiful song by Calla Kinglit is based on the Writings of the Bab, and was filmed and recorded in Toronto, Canada in August, 2015. This song is also the most popular song on Baha’i Blog’s Studio Sessions, and unfortunately it’s her only song on the series. However, you can discover more of her music and read Baha’i Blog’s interview with her about her debut album here: Dreamer’s Sea: A Debut Album by Calla Kinglit
And the number one video on Baha’i Blog’s YouTube channel is our two minute animation “A Brief Introduction to the Baha’i Faith”. This was our very first video when we launched the YouTube channel, and it was created in collaboration with a couple of good friends of mine, Kishan and Vidad, here in Australia. YouTube is the second most popular website in the world, and when searching for the Baha’i Faith on YouTube, the search results were really disappointing. We felt there was a need to fill this void. The entire process took us about six months, and as with all of our content, we put a lot of time and effort into consulting about how best to write the script and present the ideas. One of the things you may notice is that we intentionally did not use a North American or British accent as the voice-over (a common trait of many explainer videos nowadays), and instead used Vidad, who’s originally from Malaysia, to do the voiceover. We are also working with other National Spiritual Assemblies now to recreate the animation in other languages, like this version in German.
Well, that’s the top 10 list of our most popular YouTube videos of the year, and we hope you’ve enjoyed Baha’i Blog’s YouTube channel so far!
Thank you again for all your continued support and encouragement, and let us know if you have a favourite video on Baha’i Blog’s YouTube channel in the comments section below.