It was about five years ago that we launched Baha’i Blog’s YouTube channel with the aim of creating our very own original Baha’i-inspired video content. With approximately 750 videos on our channel and over 25,000 subscribers (wooohooo!!), we are very proud of the variety of content we’ve made available 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. We’d like to make special mention of one of our recent beloved videos: “HAPPY AYYAM-I-HA” performed by Andy Grammer and written by Andy Grammer, Red Grammer, and Jamey Heath.
We were so happy when Andy Grammer sent the song to us and allowed us to publish it for everyone to enjoy during the special days of Ayyam-i-Ha! Special thanks to Andy Grammer, Red Grammer and Jamey Heath for this fun song, and for letting Baha’i Blog share it with everyone!
Over the last Baha’i year (from Naw-Ruz 2019 to Naw-Ruz 2020), Baha’i Blog’s YouTube channel had over 4.9 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, 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 song called “Thy Confirmations”, is the eighth song in a collection of 10 songs called ‘Music Inspired by the Heroes Teaching Conference’.
In April 2019, 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!
Here is the quote from the Baha’i Writings used for the lyrics of the song: “Help me to triumph by the hosts of Thy glorious kingdom, and shower upon me Thy confirmations, which alone can change a gnat into an eagle, a drop of water into rivers and seas, and an atom into lights and suns? O my Lord!” -Abdu’l-Baha
In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, we’re in the United Kingdom with the friends in Bristol who sing “Thy Presence” from the Writings of Baha’u’llah.
In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, we’re in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with Harvin Mageyndren, Nishana Rajan, Satchit Ananda, Shalynn Subromaniam, Sharlene Rani and Prasad VS who sing “O God My God” from the Writings of Baha’u’llah and the Bab.
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, 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.
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.
‘Music inspired by the Heroes Teaching Conference’ is a collection of songs inspired by and recorded in light of ‘The Heroes Teaching Conference’ (6-7 April, 2019). The conference was an historic gathering of over 1,000 Baha’i and like-minded friends from all over Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales, Australia. Organised by the Regional Baha’i Council and Board of Counsellors, the program aimed to help its participants find their place in service to Baha’u’llah and humanity, by drawing on the heroism of the past, inspiring them to arise, through humble service, and become heroes of the Faith for this age.
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”.
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
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.