- Ayyam-i-Ha is a Baha’i festival that is joyously celebrated in countries and territories all over the world. It is a time of hospitality, generosity, and caring for the needy. This year Ayyam-i-Ha runs from February 26-29.
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.
Nabil has just released his third solo album called Nabilinho Vol.III, where he continues to serve up smooth RnB tracks based on the Baha’i Writings, so I thought it was time to do a Baha’i Blog interview with him to find out more about his new album and the man behind the music:
Baha’i Blog: Can you tell me a little about yourself, where you grew up, and your musical background?
I was born in Toronto, Canada. When I was 9 my parents decided to pioneer to the Island of Madeira.
I was exposed to music from a very young age because my parents were musical. I started learning guitar when I was in high school and it was only later, on my year of service in Europe, that I began to sing prayers with the guitar for the first time. In 2006 I graduated with a diploma in audio engineering and music production in Toronto and that’s where Karim and I met, and where it all began.
Baha’i Blog: You’ve really put RnB on the map when it comes to Baha’i-inspired music. What’s your main objective with your music and what are you trying to achieve?
Everything can be used for good or for evil and music is no exception. In the Baha’i writings we learn that God brought music into existence and intended that it be used for the advancement of the soul. My aim and hope is to create music that inspires the soul, feeds the higher nature of man and increases the flame of the love of God within the human heart.
Baha’u’llah says: “We, verily, have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may be lifted up unto the realm on high; make it not, therefore, as wings to self and passion.”
Baha’i Blog: I know that you’re also very passionate about using media and the arts to serve the Faith. Can you tell me a little more about why you think this is so important?
The arts and media are in my opinion the most powerful tools capable of raising collective and universal consciousness through the diffusion of truth and information. There is nothing blissful about ignorance. All the suffering, pain, injustice, cruelty, greed, disease and death that we see in the world are a direct result of ignorance in its many shapes and forms. Knowledge and truth have always been the source of well being, freedom, justice, love, health, progress and unity. Baha’u’llah says that “Knowledge is as wings to Mans life and a ladder for his ascent”.
The physical body is the temple of the soul and has been created to serve it, likewise, all material things have been created to serve a higher purpose, a spiritual purpose. The media, internet, and social media have all been brought forth from the realm of the invisible to the realm of the visible by the Will of God to serve a spiritual purpose and that is to increase the consciousness of the oneness of mankind and to guide us towards our unification. This is the primary mission of Baha’u’llah and ever since He and the Bab set foot on this planet (early 1800’s) we have witnessed more technological and scientific discoveries than we have in the the past 10,000 years! This is not by chance but rather a direct reflection of the massive outpouring of divine revelation that has been revealed. Baha’u’llah says that “…divine revelation is the motive power of civilization…” and if we study the history and influence of religions on civilizations this will be made evident.
Simply put, without media and arts it would be impossible for us to advance as a civilization towards the next promised stage of our evolution. Without media and arts I doubt that we can achieve world peace.
This is why serving in this field is so important and why I’m passionate about it. On another note, I can’t tell you how much fun I have producing videos and music! We have so many technological tools at our disposal today. The creative possibilities are endless!
Baha’i Blog: You’re also very passionate about staying healthy and you’re currently studying homeopathic medicine. Can you elaborate on this?
Baha’u’llah says that “The potentialities inherent in the station of man, the full measure of his destiny on earth, the innate excellence of his reality, must all be manifested in this promised Day of God.”
Poor health can significantly hinder our efforts in fulfilling the purpose of our lives, namely, advancing in our knowledge of God, and contributing to the advancement of Human Civilization.
We must make a special effort, today more than ever, to purify our bodies while developing healthier habits because we live in a world more toxic than ever, and we are being poisoned from every direction (foods, air, water, pharmaceuticals, etc.) It’s worth to mention that even if we have the healthiest diets and exercise routine we can still remain physically ill if we have disregarded our spirituality.
In the words of the Beloved Guardian:
“Physical healing cannot be complete and lasting unless it is reinforced by spiritual healing.”
Traditional Chinese Medicine, Science and Religious Writings for example have, for a long time now, taught that certain emotions (fear, anger, jealousy, grief, anxiety, resentment, etc) affect certain organs and biological processes in the body. If we experience these unpleasant emotions often then over time they will manifest themselves through chronic physical symptoms. Where do we get our emotions from? From our thoughts of course which are produced by our minds. What shapes our minds and perception of reality? Either the Word of God, which increases thoughts of peace, tranquility, gratitude, abundance, patience, safety, etc. or perverted media and entertainment in all its shapes and forms which only increase fear, anxiety, desire, and other negative thoughts.
So, if spiritual health affects mental health which in turn produces healthy emotions and a healthy body, does it also work the other way round? The answer is yes.
When our physical body is toxic our mental faculties such as memory, concentration, imagination, understanding, and meditation will suffer. Consequently, a weak mind is not conducive to a strong spirit.
In the words of Virgil “The greatest wealth is health” and we Baha’is must strive to be as healthy as we can be spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically because the fate of the world depends upon us. In the words of Baha’u’llah, we are “…the first among men to be recreated by His Spirit…” and I believe that there’s no one else that can spiritually resuscitate the peoples of the world. This is the most important service that can be rendered to humanity because the crisis afflicting mankind today is not political, racial, environmental or financial, these are just symptoms of a basic illness. The crisis afflicting mankind is spiritual in nature. For instance Shoghi Effendi says that “…the chief reason for the evils now rampant in society is the lack of spirituality”.
Baha’i Blog: What message do you have to other musicians out there?
Focus on the process and not the outcome. If you focus on the outcome or the final product, i.e. the song, chances are you will be disappointed and disheartened because your song isn’t going to meet the standards of perfection and excellence that you are used to listening to on the radio, specially if you are a singer and you produce your own music. You will easily be disheartened and give up. If instead, the process of recording, producing, composing and mixing is what excites you and makes you happy then you will never be discouraged and will keep at it. That’s the difference between the pro’s and the rest. The pro’s never quit because they are in love with the process.
Baha’i Blog: What are your plans for the future?
I’m particularly excited about two projects that I plan on releasing within the next couple of months. One is a songwriting course for Baha’i musicians that I have been developing for a while now and the other is my next album, another collection of prayers, which I hope to release before the start of the summer. I’ve already composed two pieces and can’t wait to share them!
Baha’i Blog: Thanks so much Nabil for taking the time to do this interview and congratulations on your new album. We hope to continue to see and hear a lot more from you over the years!
Listen to and purchase a copy of Nabil’s latest album here: Nabilinho Vol.III
If you missed it, you can also read Baha’i Blog’s interview with Karim about the duo Nabil & Karim here.
Watch Baha’i Blog’s interview with Nabil & Karim here: Baha’i Blog Interviews Nabil & Karim
Here’s a music video from Nabilinho Vol.III for the song Loving Thee:
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