100 Musical Initiatives, Musicians and Albums Featured on Baha’i Blog So Far!

We’re super excited to share 100 musicians, musical initiatives and albums featured on Baha’i Blog so far!

It’s been so awesome seeing all the amazing initiatives and talent from all over the world, and so now, in order to celebrate the fact that we’ve featured 100 posts in this category so far, we thought it would be a good time to list them all, starting from our very first interview with producer, Navid Bahmani, to our most recent interview with Persian Baha’i rapper, Ahdi, and everything in between! 

Please note that this list does not include all the music videos, songs and albums we’ve also included in our Video Section and Audio Section, as that would be in the hundreds, but this is just from our Article Section, which usually includes a more in-depth look into the initiative, often with an interview. Also, keep in mind that we are aware that there are many albums and musical initiatives you know of, which may not have been featured, and this is often due to those involved either not responding, or the fact that we had to make a rule that we would only feature initiatives that were within a year old, otherwise the entire site would be about music, and it would leave no room for any other articles. (We had to apply this rule with books as well). There are definitely more music-related articles still coming up, but if you’re aware of any albums or musical initiatives that you think we should know about and feature, then please let us know in the ‘Comments’ section below this article, or by emailing us at: [email protected]

Now on with the list!

1. Music with Soul: An Interview with Navid B of Bluebottle Records

NAVID-B-200x200Navid Bahmani (AKA Navid B) became a Baha’i about two years ago, and he recently founded his own record label called Bluebottle Records. I’ve known Navid B for some time now and I’ve been fortunate enough to be on the sidelines of seeing his musical career unfold.

Bluebottle has just released their debut album called A New Dawn, so I sat down with Navid B and got him to tell me a little bit about himself and what he’s trying to achieve through his record label. Continue reading…


2. Heart to Heart: An Interview with Tahereh Etehad

Heart-To-Heart-200x200Tahereh Etehad has a love for music and when the call came for Baha’is to help raise money for the Baha’i House of Worship in Chile, she stepped forward and decided to do her part by putting her vocal talents and musical abilities to good use by creating Heart to Heart, and contributing all the proceeds to the Chile Temple Fund.

I decided to catch up with Tahereh to find out more about her album and her thoughts on making music as a Baha’i. Continue reading…


3. Create in Me a Pure Heart: An Interview with Luke Slott

Luke-Slott-200x200The “Create in me a pure heart” prayer by Baha’u’llah has long been one of my favourite prayers for spiritual growth. Whenever I read this prayer, my mind is drawn to the beauty of its imagery, and regardless of how I was feeling when I began reading the prayer, I begin to feel a profound tranquility.

Luke Slott’s beautiful musical rendition of this prayer is befitting and always reminds me of one of my favourite lines from the prayer: “Let Thine everlasting melodies breathe tranquility on me”. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover that Luke’s rendition of Create in Me a Pure Heart is merely part of a larger project: an album of devotional music! (Not to mention the beautiful album artwork by Shirin Sahba!) Continue reading…


4. Acoustic Devotion: An Interview with Omid Master

OMID_MASTER-200x200Singer-songwriter Omid Master lives in Port Douglass, a small coastal town popular with the tourists in the tropical north-east of Australia. Omid has been strumming and thumping out the tunes with a rock band for years, and having already released a few commercial albums with tracks successfully hitting the local charts, he’s recently taken it down a notch and recorded an acoustic album with the help of a few friends.

The album’s called Acoustic Baha’i Devotions, and that’s exactly what it is – Baha’i Prayers and Writings set to unplugged, down-to-earth acoustic guitar and other instruments. Continue reading…


5. The MANA Story…and Why I Think it’s Important

MANA-200x200For the past decade I’ve had the pleasure of working with the music group MANA, who’ve recently finished recording their fifth album. Many of my friends and the Baha’is I’ve met while travelling have asked about MANA and why this project in particular is so important to me.

Well, before I answer that and start going on and on about MANA (which, trust me, I can do for hours), for those of you who haven’t heard of them, here’s a quick introduction. Continue reading…


6. Strive: An Interview with Anthony and Michael

Strive 200x200Strive is the debut album from two 12-year-old brothers from New Zealand, Michael and Anthony Zemke, who got together with singer and producer Sonbol to record an album for young listeners and to help raise money for the Chilean Baha’i Temple Fund.

I decided to catch up with Michael and Anthony to hear what they had to say about this exciting initiative.

Continue reading…


7. Nordic Devotion: An Interview with Refuge

Refuge - Album Cover 200x200Refuge is the wonderful musical outcome of a group of friends and musicians in Finland, who came together to record an album inspired by the Holy Writings of the Baha’i Faith.

The majority of songs are in English but there are a few in Finish as well. This truly beautiful and inspirational album really swept me off my feet when I first heard it.

I decided to catch up with Elina Kuitunen and Mea Karvonen, two of the members of Refuge to find out more about this wonderful album and initiative. Continue reading…


8. Shimama: Empowering Music from Kids in Congo

Shimama-200x200As the war in the east of Congo worsened in 2008, Pembe Lero decided to show the world that his country was about more than just poverty and bloodshed, by forming ‘Shimama’.

Using a model based partly on the success of MANA, a Pacific Island Baha’i music group, Shimama is a musical group that aims to put Baha’i-inspired Congolese music on the world map. Continue reading…


9. Soulboy: An Interview with Khalil Fong

khalil-fong-200x200Which Baha’i musician has millions of fans and concerts that pack out stadiums? Khalil Fong – that’s who! “Who?” you ask? Well, to many of the English speaking world, the name Khalil Fong may not ring a bell, but to the Mandarin speaking world in China, Singapore and Taiwan, Hong Kong based pop-star Khalil Fong has been playing to packed-out stadiums and he continues to pump out the hits!

Besides having over six million followers on Weibo (the Chinese Twitter), six albums under his belt, and approximately 180 music awards, Khalil has also been praised by the media for his upright character and for being such a positive role model for young people. Continue reading…


10. Mystic Music: An Interview with Brett Smith of Smith & Dragoman

The Mystery - Album Cover 200x200The mystical and soul-stirring music of the Canadian duo Smith & Dragoman can be felt in all three of the group’s albums, originally inspired by The Dawbreakers, and are each based on a certain chapter of the history of the Baha’i Faith.

Their debut album Open The Gates, is based on the heroes and heroines of the Babí dispensation, and their follow-up album Under The Lote-Tree, continues the saga of the those early Babí’s who became followers of Baha’u’llah. Continue reading…


11. HELLO …i like you. An Interview with Delia

DELIA-200x200A few weeks ago while attending a community event, a beautiful song in French start playing over the speakers during the devotional portion of the gathering. I had had to know who the singer was and where I could find the song.

It turns out that the song was by Delia Olam, a Baha’i who lives in Adelaide, Australia and she’s someone whom I had met several years ago at a conference. As someone quite involved with music and the arts, it makes me sad to think that there are so many great Baha’i inspired songs and other initiatives happening around the world that unfortunately go unheard to the vast majority of friends. One of the main aims of Baha’i Blog and our Resource Directory is to make sure that these wonderful initiatives are shared with others, and Delia Olam’s album HELLO … i Like You is one of those gems which has been hidden away from most of us for some time now. Continue reading…


12. An Interview with Karim of Baha’i R’n’B Hip-Hop duo Nabil & Karim

Nabil-and-Karim-200x200What happens when two good friends living in Canada decide to get together and collaborate on creating music which brings the Baha’i Writings to life in a fresh and contemporary way? The answer is simple: Nabil & Karim.

The smooth grooves of music duo Nabil & Karim were born when Nabil (a Persian-Canadian Baha’i who was raised in Portugal), and Karim (an Egyptian-Irishman born in Haiti and raised in India and Canada) were studying audio production in Canada together, and with the encouragement of their local Baha’i community, they started working on putting the Sacred Writings to music for community events. Continue reading…


13. Innocent In Heart: An Interview with MJ Cyr

MJ_Cyr-200x200About a year ago while surfing the web for Baha’i related content, I came across an awesome Baha’i musician on gofundme.com.

Her name was MJ Cyr, and she was trying to raise money to record and launch her first full-length album which was based on the Baha’i Writings. What really got my attention at first was the video she posted up on the site (and which I’ve also included at the bottom of this post). It was a simple video of her standing in front of a mic with a guitar strapped over her shoulder, and as the song developed, she just kept adding layer-upon-layer of music and vocals until the song really came to life! Continue reading…


14. At First Light: An Interview with Chelsea Lee Smith

First-Light-Volume1-200x200Chelsea Lee Smith has been busy! Not only has she been busy working as a full-time mom, but among other things, she’s one of the main driving forces behind the wonderful blog for parenting called Enable Me To Grow, and also the Radiant Hearts educational resource which is aimed at assisting in the spiritual education of children.

And now Chelsea, along with the help of her husband Zafar and two children, has just released yet another resource called At First Light, Volume 1, which is a musical album based on 20 short quotations from the Baha’i Writings. Continue reading…


15. Verdant Isle: An Interview with Shadi Toloui-Wallace

Shadi_Toloui-Wallace 200x200Australian singer and songwriter Shadi Toloui-Wallace was raised in a musical family, but her own musical journey with the Faith really came to fruition when she recognised the need within the Baha’i community for more contemporary forms of music that are inspired by the teachings of the Baha’u’llah. With the support and encouragement of her family, and the legendary Louie Shelton coming on board to produce the album, Shadi launched her debut album called Leather Bound Book, which quickly took the Baha’i world by storm. Continue reading…


16. Kindle: An Interview with Natasha Chiang

natasha-chiang-200x200One of the things I absolutely love discovering is new Baha’i inspired music, and one of the wonderful benefits of running Baha’i Blog is that we get to share these awesome musical discoveries with the rest of the Baha’i world!

A friend of mine recently introduced me to the beautiful music of Natasha Chiang, a new Baha’i artist in Australia who just released her debut album a few weeks ago entitled Kindle. Continue reading…


17. Phoenix of Love: An Interview with Shidan Toloui-Wallace

Shidan-Taloui-Wallace-200x200I’m excited to introduce Baha’i Blog’s readers to Shidan Toloui-Wallace, one of the most admired contemporary Persian and Arabic chanters in the Baha’i world. Now ‘chanting’ is not to be confused with singing – although Shidan does that beautifully as well – but as she explained to me, chanting is a form of improvised singing usually based on Holy Scriptures or poetry, and a person chanting may chant the same piece of scripture differently every time. Continue reading…


18. Illumined Youth: Inspiring Stories of Spiritual Transformation

Illumined Youth cover 200x200Shoghi Effendi encouraged many of the Baha’is to use the art of storytelling to convey the history and teachings of the Baha’i Faith, and storytelling is also encouraged in the Ruhi sequence of courses as well, so I’m excited to share with everyone a brand new album full of inspiring stories entitled Illumined Youth.

Illumined Youth is a collection of stories and accompanying music about inspiring Baha’is who faced great difficulties in their youth, and how the Faith helped them to grow spiritually. The album includes stories of Shoghi Effendi, Hands of the Cause May Maxwell and Enoch Olinga as well as Ali-Kuli Khan, Zaynab from the Dawn Breakers, and Fred Mortensen. Continue reading…


19. Karim’s Lyrical Remix Mission

Karim Lyrical Remix Mission 200x200Most Baha’is can probably relate to the frustrating fact that so much of the music we hear on the radio and on the charts right now have awesome beats and catchy tunes, but the lyrics are… well, let’s just say that they’re not very good for the soul.

Enter Karim, who’s one half of the popular Baha’i R&B/Hip-Hop duo Nabil & Karim, and he’s trying to change that! Continue reading…


20. Divine Collaboration: An Interview with The Descendants

The_Descendants-200x200When three really close friends from California – Bella Blue, Aubrey Wood and Gia Sky – hear about the 114 world-wide Youth Conferences announced by the Universal House of Justice, they decide to get together to see what they could do to support it – oh, and did I mention that they’re all professional musicians!?

What resulted from their get-together was the creation of a music group called The Descendants and the release of a wonderful debut album called A Divine Collaboration. Continue reading…


21. The Style is to be Changed: An Interview with BASS Adjustment

bass-adjustment-200x200It’s always great to hear about new musical initiatives from around the Baha’i world, and The Style is to be Changed is the debut album from BASS Adjustment, a musical initiative put together by Austrian musician, songwriter, composer and producer Raha Poostchi.

Raha first began the project back in 2006, and now seven years later, after collaborating with artists from all over the world including Hawaii, Nigeria, Australia, Italy, Sweden, Germany and Switzerland, the album was finally released this year. Continue reading…


22. Yaran: A New Album by Badi Yazdi Dedicated to the Imprisoned Yaran

Yaran - Album Cover 200x200The situation for the Baha’is in Iran took a turn for the worse after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, and as the Baha’is in Iran continue to face persecution, many Baha’is around the world continue to work towards ensuring their freedom through peaceful diplomacy, various awareness campaigns, and of course through the power of prayer.

This ongoing persecution is the driving force behind the music of Badi Yazdi, and in his new album entitled Yaran, Badi shares with us a selection of seven prayers chanted in Persian and underscored by Eric Harper. Each prayer is dedicated to the seven imprisoned Baha’i leaders in Iran, who collectively are known as ‘The Yaran’.

I decided to catch up with Badi Yazdi to find out more about the album and the initiative as a whole. Continue reading…


23. The Best in Baha’i Inspired Media: An Interview with Jon Rezin of 9 Star Media

Jon-Rezin-200x200Here at Baha’i Blog we’re huge fans of Baha’i related media content, and one of the things we really want to do is to help Baha’is discover all of the wonderful new Baha’i media-related initiatives happening around the world. Now it’s one thing to discover new Baha’i musicians, albums, videos and the like, but getting your hands on their products can often be difficult… so welcome 9 Star Media! 

9StarMedia.com showcases the best in Baha’i inspired music, audio books and film, and they’ve created a single outlet to discover, preview, and purchase the best the Baha’i community has to offer. Think “iTunes for Baha’i Media”, but they go even one step further by offering physical media sales (CD, DVD, Blu-Ray) as well as wholesale sales to Baha’i bookstores, communities, and distribution services around the world. Continue reading


24. ‘Happy Ayyam-i-Ha’ Album by William Sears and the Ayyam-i-Ha Kids Available Again

Ayyam-i-Ha - Album Cover 200x200A lot of my friends are always telling me that we really need more resources to support our Baha’i holy days and celebrations.

So, to help with your Ayyam-i-Ha celebrations, I am absolutely delighted to let everyone know about the digitally restored and remastered re-release of the Happy Ayyam-i-Ha album by William Sears and the Ayyam-i-Ha Kids!

For those of you who have never heard of it – the Happy Ayyam-i-Ha album is simply a classic. It blends the wonderful storytelling of Hand of the Cause of God Mr. William Sears with sing-a-long songs performed by children. Continue reading…


25. Visionaries: An Interview with JB Eckl of Badasht

Eric-Dozier-and-JB-Eckl-200x200Many of you may have already heard the music of The Badasht Project, (or more commonly known as Badasht). Their debut album While The City Sleeps and their second album release Raise Me Up have been hugely popular in the world-wide Baha’i community, and now The Badasht Project returns with a new album called Visionaries, which is a 2-CD set of 21 songs dedicated to the youth, featuring an ever-greater circle of collaborators spanning every genre from electronica to bluegrass to hip-hop. The new album features young artists, some already well along their path, others recorded for the first time, creating music ranging from the purely devotional, using passages from the Baha’i Writings to the personal and introspective, in the inspired language of the heart. Continue reading…


26. Divine Spark: An Interview with Taraz Nosrat

Taraz Nosrat 200x200We all know that God has made music as a ladder for our souls, and listening to Baha’i-specific music is indeed a brilliant way for our souls to ascend. Of course, I’m not going to pretend that all styles of music resonate with me, even if they are Baha’i-inspired, but my latest discovery has indeed got my soul soaring to the realms above!

The Divine Spark is a devotional album recorded by U.S. multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Taraz Nosrat. Continue reading…


27. World Citizen: Andrea Hope’s Spoken Word

World Citizen- Andrea Hope 200x200If you’ve never heard of the lyrical medium of what’s known as ‘spoken word’, then in you’re in for a treat! Actually, even if you have heard of it, you’re still in for a treat!

Ladies and gentleman, please welcome to the stage ‘Andrea Hope’!

I first came across an example of Andrea’s spoken word from a video she posted on Youtube based on one of her tracks called ‘World Citizen’ (which I’ve included for everyone to watch further down in this post). According to the Portland Poetry Slam “Andrea journeyed to the center of the Earth and has brought back its heartbeat, carrying the delicate fire on her tongue.” Continue reading…


28. I have Returned to Thee: An Interview with Jamey Heath

I Have Returned To Thee - Album Cover 200x200Once-in-a-while you meet someone who’s able to pick up any instrument and play it, and Jamey Heath is one of those extremely talented musicians, who can not only play just about everything, but who also has a beautiful voice – and boy can he sing!

I keep bumping into Jamey at different events and conferences throughout the years, and most often he’s behind a piano or with guitar in hand singing a song based on a Baha’i prayer or the Writings. Continue reading…


29. The New Era: An Interview with Walied Jassat

Walied_Jassat-200x200I absolutely love discovering new Baha’i-inspired music from different parts of the world, and I was thrilled to hear about a new album from South Africa called The New Era, produced by Walied Jassat – also known as ‘WaJa’ – who’s based in Johannesburg.

The New Era is a collaborative album featuring different musicians and singers who have been working with Walied Jassat over the last few years and all songs are either based on the Baha’i Writings or are Baha’i-inspired. Continue reading…


30. Arising To Serve: An Interview with Max Weigert
Arising To Serve - Max Weigert 200x200

While Max Weigert was volunteering at the Baha’i World Centre, he realized that there was so much talent amongst his fellow volunteers, that he thought it was a shame not to share it with the rest of the world. So he got together with a group of artists who wanted to put together a collaborative album of Baha’i prayers, Baha’i inspired music and Baha’i inspired poetry, and the result is Arising to Serve! 

Arising to Serve is a seven-track compilation album of Baha’i music and poetry that Max and his friends (including Andrea Hope, who we interviewed here on Baha’i Blog as well) put together. They not only want to showcase their art, but they want everyone to be able to use it as an inspiration and as a resource for your devotional gatherings, events and other activities. Best of all, it’s completely free! Continue reading…


31. Unveiled: An Interview with Wiley Rinaldi
Unveiled - Wiley Rinadi 200x200

Unveiled is a new collaborative album by singer and songwriter Wiley Rinaldi in collaboration with his son Daniel and other musicians from around the world, where they share a handful of treasured songs, written from the 1960s to 2013, but never before recorded.

Wiley Rinaldi was behind some of the songs used in Book 3 of the Ruhi sequence of courses, and in this album, Wiley searches for truth through his music, asks important questions, seeks hope and faith, evokes nostalgia, and quotes spiritual verses.

I decided to catch up with Wiley to find out more about him and the album: Continue reading…


32. Infinite Bounty: An Interview with Elika Mahony
Infinite Bounty - Elika Mahony 200x200

Vocalist, composer, pianist, and artist, Elika Mahony has been busy! Elika loves to design and create beautiful things that bring joy to people and enhance their spiritual experience, so somewhere in between raising a family and all of her artistic projects which include things like making prayer beads from Chinese water pearls, silk prayer book covers and hand made specialty cards using her original pieces of art, as well as exquisite Japanese paper and quotations from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, she’s managed to produce seven albums!I recently had the privilege of visiting the Baha’i Temple in Frankfurt, Germany, and while I was at the bookshop in the Visitors Centre, I saw an array of Elika’s albums displayed on the shelves and I thought to myself “I wish Elika would release a new album so I could do an interview with her about it and her music”. About an hour later when I arrived at my friends place, there was an email from Elika waiting for me about her new album Infinite Bounty… woah… Continue reading…


33. Inspired Music from Latin American Musical Workshops in Ecuador
Una Decision – Latin American Music Initiative 2012 200x200

I always love hearing about different Baha’i-inspired initiatives happening around the world, and a couple of friends recently told me about a wonderful musical initiative which took place in Ecuador, and so with the help of Eduardo Rioseco, one of the initiative’s participants, I thought it would be great to share this exciting experience and the music (which can be downloaded for free at the bottom of this post) with everyone!

Continue reading…


34. From Up There: An Interview with Tom Francis

After leaving his home in New Zealand and performing and touring around Australia for a couple of years, Tom Francis found himself arriving in the Australian coastal town of Byron Bay with a car load of instruments and a head full of new songs. After spending six days in a studio with a jazz drummer and an Aria nominated producer, Tom’s second album From Up There was born.

Tom’s new album of Indie and Soul songs were recorded live in the studio, and it really captures the warmth of his voice fused with the simplistic, yet rich sounds of guitar, vintage keyboard work, and smooth drumming which lend themselves well to the emotionally deep and thought-provoking journey the album takes you on. Continue reading…


35. Nabilinho Vol.III: An Interview with Nabil

Many Baha’is around the world have listened to the smooth and funky sounds of Baha’i RnB/Hip-hop duo Nabil & Karim, but perhaps many haven’t heard the solo albums of these two great artists!

One half of the well known Baha’i duo Nabil & Karim is Nabil Moghaddam – or ‘Nabilinho’ as he’s known by his Portuguese friends and fans. Of Persian descent, Nabil was raised in both Portugal and Canada and he’s a musician, sound engineer and producer who’s passionate about using the arts and music to serve the Faith and to celebrate the Revelation of Baha’u’llah. I’ve spent hours on Skype with him, and I really love his dedication and passion for the Faith, the arts, and life in general. Continue reading…


36. Sea of Mystery: An Interview with Sonbol

Sea of Mystery - Sonbol 200x200There are some people whom, when you cross their path, you can immediately tell that they’re passionate about everything they do. Whether it be their work, their faith, their service, their family or their art, they pursue it to their utmost, and Sonbol is one of those people.Sonbol is a New Zealand based singer and songwriter, and in fact her husband played a big role in my family’s life, as it was him who told my parents about the needs in Papua New Guinea, which then resulted in my family moving to Papua New Guinea and living there for 20 years, so I’ve always been profoundly grateful to them for this. Continue reading…


37. Music of the Heart: An Interview with Michelle Koay

It always puts a smile on my face when I find out about individuals from different parts of the world who take the initiative to put the Sacred Writings of the Baha’i Faith to music, and share it with others.

So it gives me great pleasure to share Music of the Heart, the fourth and latest album by Singaporean Baha’i Michelle Koay. All of the ten songs on Michelle’s album consist of the Chinese translations of Baha’i prayers by The Bab, Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha put to music, and the album also includes the karaoke versions of the prayers too.

I decided to catch up with Michelle to find out more about her and this wonderful musical initiative: Continue reading…


38. Music with Zest – An Interview with Lemon Soul Trio

Lemon Soul Trio 200x200As the Faith grows and develops, the artistic expression of its followers blossoms and grows. Recorded devotional music in French are rare gems so I was ecstatic when I learned about Lemon Soul Trio, a band whose motto is “un antidote contre le blues” (which roughly translates as “an antidote for the blues”) – a clever turn of phrase considering their jazzy, bluesy, world-music style.

Their first album, which bears their band’s name, was released in October 2014. It contains 9 tracks – a propitious number! While the majority of their lyrics are in French, their music is global in its appeal. The group is composed of three very talented musicians: Margaret Harmer, a percussionist; Nicolas Leroy, a guitarist; and Yasmin Farhoumand, a vocalist.

I was eager to find out more and Yasmin agreed to share some behind-the-tunes information on behalf of the band about their exciting work. Continue reading…


39. Reach Out: A New Album by Karim Rushdy

Reach Out - Karim Rushdy 200x200It is inevitable that life will throw challenges our way. what’s important is how we chose to deal with our struggle – whatever that may be. I believe that we are all noble beings with infinite potential, we just get bogged down by so many distractions that it sometimes feels impossible to change. This album attempts to capture those trans-formative moments where hopelessness becomes courage, and a pebble becomes a pearl. My hope is that by listening to this, you will be reminded of what you struggle with, yet be inspired by the greatness that you inherently possess to rise above whatever situation you’re in and Reach Out to help someone else in need.

I decided to catch up with Karim and ask him a few more questions about his new album Reach Out. Continue reading…


40. The Second City: An Interview with Shameem

The Second City - Shameem-Over 12 years ago while visiting Perth, Australia, I met an amazing young Baha’i who was singing her heart out at the Baha’i Centre of Learning there. Her name was Shameem, and even though she was only in high school at the time, it was immediately clear that this enthusiastic and talented young singer, songwriter and musician was really going places with her music!

Now on her third album, and with a bunch of awards under her belt, Shameem continues to bless the stage and the airwaves with her wonderful soulful sound. Continue reading…


41. Baha’i Blog Presents “Studio Sessions” – A New Series on our YouTube Channel

As someone who’s had the opportunity to travel a whole lot over the years, I’ve had the fortune of attending a variety of different Baha’i-related gatherings around the world, and one of the things I’ve enjoyed immensely is being able to listen to songs performed by members of these various communities, who have been moved to put the Sacred Baha’i Writings to music. I’ve always wished others could hear these songs, and so now we’ve started what we call Baha’i Blog’s “Studio Sessions” in order to share some of these beautiful compositions with the rest of the world. In this new series of videos found on our YouTube Channel, we invite individuals or groups to come into the studio to perform a song or two while we record and film it.

We want these songs to serve as a resource for you and your community, so you can find the song lyrics — meaning the Baha’i Writings used — and the chords to the song in the text below the video on our YouTube Channel. You can also download the audio version of the song from Baha’i Blog’s Soundcloud page too!

We hope you enjoy this new series, and please subscribe to Baha’i Blog’s YouTube Channel to get updates on new Baha’i-inspired videos like this one and more. Continue reading…


42. Esto es Fe: A New Album by Leonor Dely & Millero Congo

Esto es Fe- Leonor Dely & Millero Congo 200x200Esto es Fe (which is Spanish for “This is Faith”) is the new album from Leonor Dely & Millero Congo, a Baha’i-inspired group coming from the musically rich South American nation of Colombia.

You may have heard the music of Leonor Dely & Millero Congo in the Frontiers of Learning video in the segment about Colombia, and Esto es Fe is Leonor Dely & Millero Congo’s fifth album, which takes the listener on a spiritual journey that combines drums, vocals, native flutes and harmonies releasing the sounds of Colombia’s rich Afro-Latin heritage. The album is a continuation of four previous albums: Amame, Talisman, Ora Tambo, and Makerule – all produced by Grammy-award winning KC Porter. Continue reading…


43. A Nightingale’s Cry: A New Album by Mea

A Nightingale’s Cry- Mea 200x200A couple of years ago, Baha’i Blog featured a great Baha’i-inspired musical initiative out of Finland called Refuge, and now one of the participants of that initiative, Mea Karvonen, has just released her very own debut album entitled A Nightingale’s Cry.

A Nightingale’s Cry is an instrumental album of piano pieces inspired by the Baha’i Faith, and the tracks comprise of both original pieces composed by Mea, and also ones inspired by songs composed by other Baha’i musicians such as Tom Price, Jean Rebstock Murday and others which have touched her in one way or another, like the piece called Grace & Favor, based on an Iranian Baha’i song she’s been singing since she was a child. Additionally, Mea has also included a download of the sheet music to these songs as well, which is always great! Continue reading…


44. Noite De Estrelas No Ceu – An Interview with Joze Marcelino

Noite De Estrelas No Ceu - Joze Marcelino 200x200While I was in Europe last year, I had the pleasure of meeting the talented Joze Marcelino, and he kindly gave me a copy of his latest album Noite De Estrelas No Céu, which in Portuguese means “A Night of Stars in the Sky”.Currently living in Portugal, Joze Marcelino is an accomplished singer and songwriter originally from Angola, and he shares and uses his music as a voice to express his inner beliefs rooted in the Baha’i Faith of ‘unity in diversity’ and the world being one country and mankind its citizens. He plays acoustic and electric guitar, as well as the guitalele, and he has appeared on a number of television and radio channels, and has also played as an opening act for popular Angolan singers such as Don Kikas. Continue reading…


45. Immerse: An Interview with Bahareh Khademi

Immerse - Bahareh Khademi 200x200Born to Persian parents, and brought up in Australia, Bahareh Khademi feels fortunate to have been raised in Australia, not taking for granted the freedoms that wouldn’t be available to her in her parents’ homeland – among them, the right to free speech and to education.

Bahareh first discovered her passion for music at the age of 16 when she auditioned for the school musical ‘Les Miserables’. Singing in the chorus, she fell in love with the songs and, more significantly, with the potential that music has to ignite the heart of others. Continue reading…


46. Blessed: The Music of Klare Kuolga

Blessed- Klare Kuolga 200x200Born in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea and raised by adopted parents in Australia, Klare Kuolga was blessed with having the privilege of belonging to two distinct cultures, both of which music played an important role.Klare is an old friend of mine, and I just found out that she’s just released a new EP called “Blessed”, so I decided to catch up with her and interview her on Baha’i Blog:

Klare is an old friend of mine, and I just found out that she’s just released a new EP called “Blessed”, so I decided to catch up with her and interview her on Baha’i Blog: Continue reading…


47. Let’s Pray: A New Album by Gary Sterling

Let’s Pray - Gary Sterling 200x200If you have the opportunity to attend one of the Sunday morning programs at the Baha’i House of Worship in Sydney, Australia, you may have the fortune of hearing the thundering and captivating voice of Gary Sterling singing a solo part in the choir, giving you goosebumps from head-to-toe.

Born in Savannah, Georgia, USA, Gary Sterling grew up on traditional gospel music, where he started singing in a Baptist Church at the age of ten. His whole family are singers, but he is the only one who ventured into the field of the performing arts, and he says that although he grew up poor in the material world, spiritually he was privileged to be nurtured in the love of God, and Gary talks with a great deal of love and affection for the spiritual lessons his dear Baptist mother taught him. Continue reading…


48. BahaiChoralMusic.com – A New Site for Baha’i Choral Music, Composers & Choirs

There’s a wonderful new resource online called BahaiChoralMusic.com, a website where composers of Baha’i-inspired choral music can post or link to their works, and where choirs all over the world can download sheet music as well as the practice sound files.

The site was started by my good friends Lorraine and Alan Manifold, so I decided to catch up with them to find out more about this great resource. Continue reading…


49. Deliver Me: A New Album by Tara Ellis

Deliver Me - Tara Ellis 200x200I’m so excited to share with everyone a new album by the ever-so-wonderful Tara Ellis called Deliver Me.

Living in Los Angeles, Tara began her musical career as a recording session musician with credits including Black Eye Peas, Common, Eve, and others. While under contract with Sound and Color records, she also released her own commercial album called Proper Lady, along with several EP’s, but for me personally, her best work by far is the contribution she’s made to the world of Baha’i-inspired music. Continue reading…


50. Arrayanes: Baha’i-Inspired Music from Chile

Arrayanes cover 400x400Born in the light of the upcoming inauguration of the Baha’i Temple in Chile, I’m so excited about sharing a wonderful new musical initiative by a group of three Baha’is in Santiago, Chile who call themselves “Arrayanes”.

Arrayanes is a trio of close friends – Carlos Medina, Felipe Duhart and Eduardo Rioseco – bound together by friendship, laughter, and love of the Baha’i Faith, who set out to share their soundtrack of the vibrant community life developing around the Continental House of Worship for South America soon to be completed. The result is the creation of an album full of uplifting Latin American melodies and rhythms in pop-folk style, coupled with a compelling spiritual message. Continue reading…


51. Whither Shall I Turn: A New Album by Bonnie Lisbeth

Bonnie-Lisbeth-200x200I’m so excited to share with everyone a wonderful new album called ‘Whither Shall I Turn’ by Bonnie Lisbeth.

Bonnie is based in Hertfordshire, UK, and you may have already heard her music in one of Baha’i Blog’s Studio Sessions recorded in London called “O Lord Provide” by Bonnie & Noor.

In this beautiful Baha’i-inspired acoustic album, Bonnie shares with us what she calls a little piece of her life over the last five years in the form of music. Continue reading…


52. The One: An Interview With Zinnia

When I was in Los Angeles recently, I had the pleasure of attending a beautiful evening of music at the home of some friends who invited the wonderful Zinnia to perform. Inspired by the writings of the Baha’i Faith, Zinnia’s powerful voice, coupled with thought provoking lyrics and soul-stirring melodies, immediately took a hold of everyone in the audience and she had us locked in our seats.

Needless to say, as soon as the performance was over, I immediately went up to her to find out more about her and her beautiful music, and she agreed to do an interview for Baha’i Blog, so here it is. Continue reading…


53. Listen: An Interview with Ine

ine-listen-cover-400x355I can’t tell everyone how excited I am to be posting this right now! About six years ago, Ine (pronounced ‘eeeneh’), who’s been like a little sister to me for the longest time, and who was one of the members of the Baha’i-inspired Pacific Island group I spent a good decade working with called MANA, decided to write an album based on the Baha’i Writings. Continue reading…


54. With the Hands of Power: Matthew Levine’s Newest Album

with-the-hands-of-powerMatthew Levine is an award winning songwriter and composer who has recently released a new album titled With the Hands of Power. From choral to cabaret pieces, Matthew’s works are rich in their diversity of styles and genres. His other albums include A House DividedAcquiescence, and A Sacrifice to Thee. Matthew kindly agreed to answer a few questions about his latest soul-stirring work and to give us a bit of context behind its production. Continue reading…


55. Tommy Kavelin’s “Cantad, Oh Pueblos”

It was a beautiful coincidence that Cantad, Oh Pueblos caught my eye at the same time as the dedication of the Baha’i Temple for South America in Santiago, Chile. This album features many beloved and well-recognized Baha’i choral and pop songs, but on Cantad, Oh Pueblos you can hear these familiar melodies sung in Spanish. This album is a triumph of musical translation and it was produced by Tommy Kavelin, who happily agreed to tell us all about it. Continue reading…


56. Shadi Toloui-Wallace’s ‘Daughters of the Kingdom’

The incredible and delightfully talented Shadi Toloui-Wallace has released a new album of Baha’i-inspired music called Daughters of the Kingdom! You may already be familiar with her musical talents: some of her many accomplishments include Verdant IsleThis is FaithYaran and Leather Bound BookWe interviewed Shadi when Verdant Isle was released and we are excited to catch up and hear about Daughters of the Kingdom! Continue reading…


57. Cellar and Sky: An Album by Yosi Mesbah

I’m so excited about featuring Yosi Mesbah’s album, Cellar and Sky, on Baha’i Blog. It’s a hauntingly honest, uplifting and moving album where her folksy and jazzy timbered voice beautifully sings about dealing with life’s tests and difficulties in a lyrical but down-to-earth way. I can’t help but feel moved when I hear her album, and I had the pleasure of meeting Yosi at the recent Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference in Arizona a couple of months ago. As you know I love asking artists about their creative process and was glad when Yosi agreed to tell us more about her album and her experiences in putting it together. Continue reading…


58. Year of the Nightingale: A New Album by Luke Slott

Last year, singer, songwriter and composer Luke Slott wanted to record an album dedicated to the bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah taking place in 2017. To do this, he decided to team up with music producer Kelly Snook and create a 30 day Kickstarter campaign in order to raise enough funds to make the album happen, and let’s just say the show of support was staggering. Within 23 hours of launching the campaign, he met his goal! Continue reading…


59. 7 Valleys: An Album by Paloma Marin

Paloma Marin is a pianist, visual artist, and jeweler based out of Bogota, Colombia, and she’s recently released a beautiful instrumental piano album called 7 Valleys, which is inspired by Baha’u’llah’s mystic and poetic work, The Seven Valleys.

The sound engineer and producer of the album Daniel Badi Rinaldi, told me that when recording the album, they made sure the whole process was a spiritual one. Before recording, they both read all of The Seven Valleys. Continue reading…


60. The Baha’i Song Project: An Interview with Dayyan & Nadine

As you may have noticed from things like Baha’i Blog’s Studio Sessions series or all of the music-related interviews we’ve done, you’ve hopefully come to realize that here at Baha’i Blog we’re passionate about the use of the arts and music. That’s why I was thrilled when I found out about a wonderful initiative called The Baha’i Song Project, a unique and exciting website that was originally launched in 2011 to foster and encourage the incorporation of music and singing in community life. Created by Dayyan Smith and Nadine Reyhani, the The Baha’i Song Project includes videos of songs from the Baha’i Writings, in a multiplicity of languages, and downloadable lyrics and chords so anyone can learn the melody and the words. The site is easy-to-use and brimming with resources like their YouTube Channel, so I got in touch with Nadine and Dayyan who were happy to share more about this wonderful initiative. Continue reading…


61. Wizdome: A New Hip-Hop Album by Colby Jeffers

“Socially and spiritually conscious hip-hop that aims to uplift, educate, and inspire” is the tagline Phoenix-based Baha’i hip-hop artist Colby Jeffers uses when explaining his music, and he’s not wrong! In his new debut album Wizdome, Colby presents a diverse collection of Baha’i-inspired hip-hop tracks that touch upon a variety of socially and spiritually conscious themes, and includes collaborations with a selection of artists in order to channel the Teachings of Baha’u’llah. The results are awesome! Continue reading…


62. Among the Sanctuaries: An Album by Amy Stephen

Amy Stephen, a Canadian multi-instrumental musician, singer, composer and choir director, has released an album called Among the Sanctuaries. It features Celtic infused devotional songs inspired by the Baha’i Faith, Christianity and Islam. You’ll also hear the stirring chanting of Amir Haghighi. All proceeds from the sale of this album will be donated to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). I was excited when Amy agreed to tell us more about her album and the inspiration behind it. Continue reading…


63. Panalangin: A New Album by Paolo Escobar

When I was at the Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference in Phoenix, USA at the end of last year, I heard the beautiful thundering voice of someone singing to open one of the sessions, and let’s just say that it really got my attention. The song was by Filipino-American, Paolo Escobar, and we managed to meet at the conference and get to know each other. Since then we’ve caught up a couple of times, and he said something which really stuck with me. Continue reading…


64. Equality: A Persian Hip-Hop Album by Pouya Ebrahimi

As someone who’s a huge fan of hip-hop and rap, and someone who listens to a lot of international hip-hop too, I was so excited to hear the beats and rhymes of Persian rapper Pouya Ebrahimi as he took the stage at the Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference last year in Arizona, USA. Pouya moved to the U.S. two years ago as a Baha’i refugee from Iran, and he recently released an album called Tasaviye Hoqooq which in Persian means ‘Equality.’ I decided to catch up with Pouya to find out more about him and his music, and because he was more comfortable speaking in Persian, I interviewed him in Persian and then translated it into English. Continue reading…


65. Serenades & Odes to a Cracked World (Part 1): A New Album by Jody Cooper

Jody Cooper is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and performer who draws his musical inspiration from an array of musical icons ranging from The Beatles to Mike Oldfield, and his thought-provoking lyrics are drawn from life experiences, as well as being a Baha’i. With three albums and an EP already under his belt, this year Jody released a new concept album called Serenades & Odes to a Cracked World (Part 1), so we decided to catch up with Jody to find out more about the album and his music. Continue reading…


66. Circling Spirits: A New Album by Roman Orona

Raised in the culture of his Apache roots, Roman Orona, also know as “Ish Hish Itsaatsu” which means “One Who Dances With Eagles” in Apache, is a Native American performer and musician whose new award-winning album of Apache songs called Circling Spirits, expresses his people’s sacred values and acknowledges the spirits of the ancestors who sacrificed their lives, families and lands, so that their tribal communities could endure. Continue reading…


67. An Interview with Ramine Yazhari About ‘Rejoice’

Ramine Yazhari has released a devotional album in honour of the bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah. The album is titled Rejoice and its melodies are soaring (you can stream it here on Bandcamp). Last year, Ramine released a single called ‘This Newborn Child’ and I listened to it over and over and over again, finding inspiration each time I heard it. You may also recognize Ramine’s voice from his devotional album dedicated to the centenary of Abdu’l-Baha’s travels to the West, Long Journey. I was glad to learn that Rejoice had been released and Ramine very graciously agreed to tell us a little about how the album came together. Continue reading…


68. Remember My Days: A New Album by Corinne Padilla McLoughlin

It’s been incredible to witness a flourishing of artistic expressions celebrating the Bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah. Corinne Padilla McLoughlin has produced an album entitled Remember My Days. The tracks incorporate elements from various genres including jazz, blues, folk, classical, rock and world music and each song is a heartfelt tribute to Baha’u’llah. Continue reading…


69. 9 Days of Pilgrimage: An Album by Peter Smith

Peter Smith is very dear to my heart and I consider him an honorary uncle. I am always delighted when our paths cross and I was fortunate to serve at the Baha’i World Centre at the same time as him. That’s when I got to hear live versions of some of the pieces on 9 Days of Pilgrimage, an album that was recently released digitally. Some of its songs provide historical narratives, while others share experiences of pilgrimage. All are moving. Continue reading…


70. OMG: A German Grunge Rock Album Based on the Baha’i Writings

Inspired by “this special period in history”, a Baha’i in Austria named Arno Kerche decided to release an album called OMG. Most of the songs on OMG are based on the Baha’i Writings in German, and the style is grunge rock. Baha’i-inspired music in this genre is rare, and Baha’i-inspired music in this genre in German is even more rare, so I decided to get in touch with Arno to find out more about his story and how OMG came to be. Continue reading…


71. The Trumpet Blast: Music Inspired by the Life of Baha’u’llah

Nikolai Clavier is the creative mind behind The Trumpet Blasta musical score for a play about the life of Baha’u’llah by that same name. Performed in Norway to celebrate the Bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, this 15 track instrumental album includes pieces titled ‘Ridvan’, ‘The Heavenly Maid’, and ‘The Mansion of Bahji’, among many others. Nikolai Clavier’s Trompetstøtet, or The Trumpet Blast, premiered in Beitostølen, Norway in July of 2017. Each song accompanies a scene about the life of Baha’u’llah but listening to the soundtrack, even without the dialogue and action of the play, is nevertheless a dramatic experience. Continue reading…


72. The Unquenchable Flame: A Musical Drama About Tahirih

The Unquenchable Flame is a musical drama composed by Russell and Gina Garcia and performed principally by Tierney Sutton, a masterful vocalist. It tells the story of Tahirih, heroine and 19th century Iranian emancipator of women’s rights (you can read more about her in this Baha’i Blog article). Composed and recorded in the 1990’s, this incredible contemporary opera was never released until recently when Gina, and her granddaughter Kristy Corwin, fulfilled Russ’ dying wish that this score be made available to the world. Continue reading…


73. Luces de Guia: A Musical Family Band from Bolivia

If you were following all of the wonderful initiatives and celebrations happening around the world to honor the 200th anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah late last year, you may have come across this music video featuring four junior youth from Bolivia. Well those vibrant junior youth are part a musical family in Bolivia, who have formed a group called ‘Luces de Guia’, which is Spanish for ‘Lights of Guidance’. Continue reading…


74. Promised Land: A New Album by Nima Majzoubi

A little over a year ago I had the bounty of visiting the Holy Land for a few days, and while there, I had the privilege of meeting a young man named Nima Majzoubi, who was on Baha’i Pilgrimage at the time. Nima and I spoke about music and his desire to produce an album, and now friends, here it is!

Nima’s debut album is titled Promised Land, and I’m happy to share my interview with him about the music and inspiration behind the album. Continue reading…


75. An Interview with Omid Gollmer About ‘The Nightingale Sessions’

Omid Gollmer is the creator behind “The Nightingale Sessions”, a series of devotional videos that put excerpts from the Baha’i Writings to music. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, these videos were made in commemoration of the bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah. (If you’d like to see one, we showcased it on Baha’i Blog’s video section here.)

Omid kindly agreed to tell us a little about these moving musical pieces and the production of their videos. I hope you enjoy our conversation! Continue reading…


76. Make Me Ready: A New Album by Strong Steep

Strong Steep is a Baha’i-inspired indie folk duo comprised of Alex Balcazar and Kent Hansen.

Their latest sweetly simple and catchy album is called Make Me Ready and it features nine devotional tracks (my personal favourite is its title track which I can’t stop humming!). Alex and Kent agreed to share a little bit about their album and I hope you enjoy our conversation. Continue reading…


77. Dreamer’s Sea: A Debut Album by Calla Kinglit


Many of you may have seen or heard of Calla Kinglit from her song on Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions called “No One But Thee” which actually happens to be the most popular song of our Studio Sessions series! Lots of people have been asking her for more in the comments section, and so here it is! I’m thrilled that Calla Kinglit’s debut album, called Dreamer’s Sea, is now available and it includes the studio version of “No One But Thee” as well.

I decided to catch up with Calla to find out more about her and her music, and her debut album. Continue reading…


78. 5 Choirs, 1 Love: A Baha’i Choir Festival in Africa

I was excited when I heard about a recent choir festival that occurred in Johannesburg called “5 Countries, 1 Love”, which was a collaboration of five different choirs from around Africa, who came together to learn and share music with each other and the Baha’i community. They came from Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Africa. Hosted in South Africa by the Joburg Baha’i Choir, the festival was held at the Baha’i National Center in Johannesburg. You may have seen the Joburg Baha’i Choir before, as they participated in Baha’i Blog’s Studio Sessions with their songs “Be a Baha’i” and “O Thixo”, plus we also featured their “Usifiwe Naw Ruz” music video and their album, Homage.

A few friends who participated in the event told me how uplifting the festival was, so I decided to chat with Page, one of the festival participants, to find out more about it. Continue reading…


79. Projection: A New Album by Sinnober

I have never been very good at discovering music on my own: books and reading are more my forte. When it comes to music I blindly follow the recommendations of others. When I heard of Sinnober and that one of its track’s titles was inspired by the Writings of the Baha’i Faith, my ears were definitely curious and I checked them out! I’m so glad I did!

The band is made up of Natalie and Sebastian Brice and Sebastian agreed to tell us a little about the band and their latest album, Projection. Here’s what he shared — I hope you enjoy our conversation! Continue Reading…


80. Celebrating 200 Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions Around the World!

I am so excited to be sharing the news that Baha’i Blog has just hit the huge milestone of publishing our 200th Studio Session, yes that’s right, our 200th Baha’i Blog Studio Session! (And it’s also kind of cool that this happened in the year that Baha’is around the world will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Birth of the Bab, the forerunner to Baha’u’llah, the Prophet founder of the Baha’i Faith).

We started Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions about three years ago, partly inspired by a letter from the Universal House of Justice which stated: “We long to see, for instance, the emergence of captivating songs from every part of the world, in every language, that will impress upon the consciousness of the young the profound concepts enshrined in the Baha’i teachings.”1

So far we’ve published songs from 36 global locations in 28 different languages, and I’m always blown away by all of the wonderful talent and songs that exist in communities worldwide! We couldn’t have come this far without the help of so many wonderful souls who have not only taken part by singing in the Studio Sessions, but to all those who have helped in so many different ways, from picking people up from a train station, to helping to edit the videos. We’d really like to thank EVERYONE who has helped so far, in making this wonderful contribution to the arts a reality! Continue reading…


81. Baha’i Choral Composition Blast

We live in amazing times; I’ve become friends and have been able to collaborate with some fantastic people online. Alan and Lorraine Manifold are one such example. It’s been a pleasure to work together with them. For example, Naysan interviewed Alan about his mystery novel (that features a Baha’i detective!) titled Consulting Detective and they wrote an article called “It’s OK to Be a Feminist” that involved some insightful consultations about the equality of women and men and how we write about this weighty teaching on a personal Baha’i-inspired blog — there’s a lot that happens behind the scenes here at Baha’i Blog and if you’re ever curious about the principles and ideas that guide our work, check out our Editorial Values.

I recently learned about the “Baha’i Composition Blast”, a new brainchild of Alan and Lorraine in honor of the upcoming Bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab, and it was fascinating to hear about it. Here’s what they shared with us: Continue reading…


82. The European Baha’i Choral Festival

In a few weeks (May 29-June 2), participants from across Europe will come together at the European Baha’i House of Worship in Germany, to join voices and take part in the European Baha’i Choral Festival! This is the second year the event is taking place, and besides the singing and sharing of glorious music with others, the event aims to strengthen the bonds of fellowship and harmony amongst Baha’is and their friends across Europe.

I caught up with the festival’s musical director, Ameli Dziemba, to find out more about the event and to hear about her experiences. Continue reading…


83. The Exalted One: A Bicentenary Album by Elika Mahony

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Elika Mahony has released an album in honor of the bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab and it’s befittingly titled The Exalted One. The 11 songs on the album set the prayers and Writings of the Bab to music with piano, cello, guitar, tiple, cuatro (South American instruments) and soaring voice.

I am eager and excited to share my conversation with Elika with you for two reasons: for one, it’s wonderful to shine a light on creative endeavors in these months leading up to the bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab but also because Elika is donating the sales of The Exalted One from May 23rd to July 10th to the construction of the Shrine of Abdu’l-Baha! Here is some more information about the album and how it came together. Continue reading…


84. Fire and Light: An Album Dedicated to Baha’u’llah by Peter Held

German pianist and composer, Peter Held, has produced a nuanced jazz album of devotional music dedicated to Baha’u’llah in the bicentennial year of His Birth. The album is called Fire and Light and it contains 18 acoustic and instrumental piano tracks with titles such as “Traces of the Beloved” and “Morning Hour”.

Fire and Light isn’t Peter’s first devotional album. He also released Creation, on which Corinne Bahia sings a selection of Baha’i Writings in accompaniment with Peter’s piano music.

We decided to get in touch with Peter to find out more about his music and what inspired Fire and Light. Continue reading…


85. Libero: A Baha’i-Inspired Album by NAIM

About a year ago, I had the pleasure of talking on the phone to a Baha’i singer-songwriter from Italy named Naim Abid. We hit it off straight away, and we spoke for hours about a wide range of topics ranging from love and loss, to music and the Baha’i Faith.

Over the years, Naim has developed an eclectic vocal style ranging from ska to swing, soul to pop, and from blues to revival, and his wide range of musical talents came to life in a sold-out series of shows called “Crooner Nights”, where he paid tribute to the greats of American and Italian music, by combining the hits and their stories in a mix of theatre and music, with themed costumes, curious tales, vintage image projections and iconic improvisation. Continue Reading…


86. Inspired By: An Album by Heart to Heart

When I heard Heart to Heart’s album, Inspired By, I felt that it was a musical expression of Baha’u’llah’s words “the earth is but one country and mankind its citizen”. Its global and diverse sounds are genuine and a credit to the band’s name. Thankfully the Baha’i community is so interconnected that, with the help of the internet, it was easy to find out more about this musical collaboration. I was able to hear from Alex Christensen about this multi-cultural, rich, and heartfelt album. Here’s what he shared with me. Continue Reading…


87. Ascend – An Album by James Mohajer

One of the things I love about Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions is the discovery of all the wonderful music and talented people around the world! Someone we recently learned about is James Mohajer, and you may recognize him from this Baha’i Blog Studio Session recorded in London, UK called “Apple of Mine Eye” by James & Kyan.

Well, I’m excited to share that James Mohajer has recently released an album of Baha’i-inspired devotions called Ascend, and this nine-track album is full of beautiful meditative music which will make you feel like James is with you singing at your devotional gathering.

I wanted to find out more from James about him and his album, so here’s our conversation. Continue Reading…


88. Lichtblicke: A Hip Hop Album by Projekt Leuchtfeuer That Shines a Ray of Hope

Projekt Leuchtfeuer is a German musical group and they’ve released an album called Lightblicke. Made up of Armin Naimi, Shahnam Izadpanah, Esra Lilian, and Djamschid Solouk, this 19 track album will have your head bopping and your toes tapping. The songs tackle social issues and deal with questions about the refinement of our character and the improvement of society. In German and English, these songs are the fruits of a close collaboration and I was excited to find out more:
Continue reading…


89. Music Inspired by the Heroes Teaching Conference in Brisbane, Australia

In April this year, some 1,000 Baha’is and like-minded friends from all over Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales, Australia, gathered together in the city of Brisbane to attend a historic conference aimed to help its participants find their place in service to Baha’u’llah and humanity.

The conference was called ‘The Heroes Teaching Conference’, and woven throughout the two-day program were beautiful songs performed by conference participants who were inspired by stories of heroism in the Baha’i Faith’s history, and from the spirit generated at the event. Within a few weeks after the conference, these songs were recorded live in a music studio in Brisbane, and we’re so excited to share this wonderful collection of inspiring songs! Continue reading…


90. Daystar – A New Album by Ali Youssefi

My dear friend, Ali Youssefi. has warmed a lot of hearts with his music over the years. One of his most memorable works for me, as I’m sure it is for so many others, is his montage video of 50 voices from around the world singing “Unite”.

Among his many other musical contributions, Ali also played a critical role in helping record our Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions in Belgrade, Serbia (where he was living at the time), and of which he also sang two songs called “Jedinstvo (Unity)” in Serbian, and “Oh Mi Siervo (O My Servant)” in Spanish.

Ali’s soothing voice, his ability to collaborate with others, and his skills as a musician make it exciting when he creates anything new, so I was delighted to hear that he has released an album called Daystar. Continue reading…


91. Celebration – An Album for the Twin Bicentenary Celebrations of the Births of Baha’u’llah and the Bab

A spirit of loving collaboration really shines through the music on Celebration, an album in honor of the bicentenary anniversaries of the Births of Baha’u’llah and the Bab, Founders of the Baha’i Faith. Its 16 original tracks beautifully marry multicultural rhythms and sounds with extracts from the Baha’i Writings.

The album was put together by a group of friends in Quebec, Canada, and I was able to ask Pierre Tremblay how it all came together. Here’s what he shared with me. Continue reading…


92. The Martyrdom of the Bab: An Oratorio by Keivan Towfigh

As Baha’is and their friends begin to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of the Bab, artistic expressions in all sorts of media are emerging that testify to the connection between people’s hearts and the Bab, Prophet-herald of the Baha’i Faith. Keivan Towfigh’s oratorio, The Martyrdom of the Bab, is one such example in a style we don’t often see or feature here on Baha’i Blog. What’s an “oratorio” you ask? An oratorio is a large-scale musical work for orchestra and voices, like Handel’s Messiah. It usually tells a religious story and is performed without costumes or staging.

I was curious to hear all about this special oratorio and how it came into being, so I connected with Keivan Towfigh to find out more. Continue reading…


93. Rise Then: A New Album by David Khavari

A couple of years ago while I was living in San Francisco, USA, I would occasionally attend a devotional gathering at a friend’s house, and at the very first one I attended, I met a wonderful young Baha’i named David, who would bring his guitar and sing beautiful songs based on the Baha’i Writings.

Just before I left San Francisco, we organized some Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions there, and David came and recorded two songs (which I’ve included at the bottom of this article). After the recordings, he said he wanted to record an album, and so now, in honor of the bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab, I was excited to learn that David did just that, and released a new album called Rise Then.

I got in touch with David to find out more about his music and the album, and here’s what he had to say. Continue reading…


94. Gate of Heaven: An Album Dedicated to the Bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab by Luke Slott

Over the last two years, Baha’is and their friends around the world have been celebrating two landmark occasions: firstly, the bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah in 2017, and now in 2019, the bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of the Bab. In relation to these two special anniversaries, the Universal House of Justice wrote that “At the heart of these festivities must be a concerted effort to convey a sense of what it means for humanity that these two Luminaries rose successively above the horizon of the world. Of course, this will take different forms in different contexts, extending to a myriad artistic and cultural expressions, including songs, audio-visual presentations, publications and books.”

Over the course of these two special years, we witnessed a wonderful response of artistic expression from around the world. One of the efforts came from singer-songwriter, Luke Slott, who decided early on to honor these two special occasions by releasing two albums: the first is called Year of the Nightingale, to honor Baha’u’llah, and the second and more recent album is called Gate of Heaven, to honor the Bab. Continue reading…


95. Baha’i Blog Presents “Una Serata con NAIM (An Evening with NAIM)”

Baha’i Blog is excited to share a new music initiative called “Una Serata con NAIM” which is Italian for “An Evening with NAIM”.

In this live concert filmed in his hometown of Genoa, Italy, Italian singer and songwriter NAIM takes us on a musical journey where he shares music from his album Libero, and interweaves principles of the Baha’i Faith and the inspiration behind the songs.

A couple of years ago, the team at Baha’i Blog wanted to experiment in creating a music video series called “Baha’i Blog Presents An Evening with…”, where we would film and record live Baha’i-inspired concerts featuring various Baha’i musicians and bands. I had just interviewed NAIM about his album Libero (which you can read here) and he was organizing a concert based on the album. It was as if the stars aligned. He graciously accepted to be the first to help us try out the idea of filming “An Evening with…” and so “Una Serata con NAIM (An Evening with NAIM)” came to life! Continue reading…


96. Songs of the Spirit Volume 2 – An Upbeat Album & Songbook for All-Ages by Diana Howlett

Diana Howlett’s upbeat and catchy melodies remind me of singalongs from the summer schools of my childhood and sing along is exactly what she hopes you’ll do! Diana is equally passionate about producing songbooks as she is with creating albums and she releases them jointly. Her music thus far has consisted of devotional music based on the Writings (these albums are called Intone O my Servant) and those that are Baha’i-inspired in their content (such as Songs of the Spirit). Songs of the Spirit Volume 2 is her latest work featuring music about holy days, the history of the Baha’i Faith and concepts such as love and unity.

Diana shared with us about how it all came together. Here’s what we chatted about. Continue reading…


97. Trust: The Music of Nasim Maani


I recently had the pleasure of catching up with a dear friend named Nasim Maani and her family at the 2019 ABS Conference which took place in Canada. Nasim is a dear friend from when I lived in New Zealand years ago, and although she’s not a professional musician by trade, over the years she decided to channel her passion for music and her passion for the Baha’i Faith into creating Baha’i-inspired music.

We’ve featured some of her music videos here on Baha’i Blog in the past, and I was excited to learn that in honor of the bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab this Baha’i year, she released two versions of a new song called “Trust” to commemorate this special occasion.

I decided to catch up with Nasim to find out more about this new song and her music in general. Continue reading…


98. Worlds Within: An Album by Danny Stevenson

Danny Stevenson is a friend I met years ago in Namibia, and some of you may recognize him from his Baha’i Blog Studio Session recorded in the UK called “Crimson Ink”. It’s always great to hear when someone who’s participated in our Studio Sessions series goes on to record their first album, so I was excited when I heard that Danny has released Worlds Within, a devotional album inspired by the Baha’i Writings.

I wanted to find out more about the album and the inspiration behind it, so here’s what Danny shared with me. Continue reading…


99. Baha’i Blog Presents 11 Songs from The European Baha’i Choral Festival 2019

The 2019 European Baha’i Choral Festival was held from May 29 – June 2 at the Baha’i House of Worship in Langenhain, Germany. At this, the second European Baha’i Choral Festival to date, over a hundred participants came together to sing, share music with others and to strengthen the bonds of fellowship and harmony amongst Baha’is and their friends across Europe.

We’ve created a playlist featuring 11 songs performed as part of the festival. The songs were composed by a diversity of Baha’i composers, were conducted by a variety of musicians, and are in English, Albanian, Arabic, Finnish, Swedish, French, Spanish and German. All are based on excerpts from the Baha’i Writings. Continue reading…


100. Baha’i. Persian. Rapper: An Interview with Ahdi

As a huge fan of rap – especially the “conscious” kind – and with a personal passion for listening to global hip-hop artists no matter what language they rap in, I was excited to meet Ahdi, a Persian rapper based in the United States, and who, for over a decade now, has been “spittin’ out lyrics” in Persian relating to racism, drug abuse, the equality of women and men, and other social issues including the oppression of his fellow Baha’is in Iran.

Ahdi recently released a track called ‘Toloue Bamdad (Rise of Dawn)‘ in honor of the bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab, and so with a stack of tracks behind him, I decided it was time to catch up with my dear friend Ahdi, to find out more about him and his music. Continue reading…


Well, that concludes our list of 100 musical initiatives, musicians and albums featured on Baha’i Blog so far!

We hope you’ve enjoyed these articles over the years, and thank you all for your support!

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About the Author

Naysan is the editor of Baha'i Blog and he has worked in various avenues of media for two decades. He’s passionate about using the arts and media to support and explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and he has produced and collaborated on popular music projects like the "DawnBreaker Collective" and the successful Ruhi-inspired sequence of "MANA" albums. His experience as a producer for CNN was invaluable while working on a number of special projects for the Baha’i World Centre, including the "Building Momentum" and "Pilgrimage: A Sacred Experience" videos. If there’s a media-related Baha’i project out there, chances are that Naysan was involved with it somehow!

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Discussion 1 Comment

  1. “As long as they have music for its own sake, it is alright…..But they should not consider it “Baha’i” music.” – Shoghi Effendi

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