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: “All my life I’ve been passionate about two career paths…” he said. “My first passion, or the thing I was most passionate about was to become a musician. My second passion was to become a chef. I became a chef and it helped pay the bills and it’s been great and all, but when I had my birthday and I reassessed my life, I realized now after over a decade of working in what I would call my ‘second passion’, that I need to pursue my first passion: ‘music’. So I quit my job and am now giving it everything I’ve got.” Well I was glad to hear it, because I love Paolo’s music and I was excited when he released his album and agreed to do an interview with Baha’i Blog, so here it is: Continue reading
“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
Perhaps you’ve already heard Sarah Perceval’s enchanting voice. She has recorded several story-telling audio collections such as Ancient Beauty: Stories from the Life of Baha’u’llah, The Bag of Jewels: A Sparkling Collection of Wisdom Stories Celebrating the Virtues, The Master: Stories of Abdu’l-Baha for Children, and Illumined Youth: Stories of Spiritual Transformation. Her latest project is an album of stories called Women Who Changed the World: Biographical Stories of Inspiring Women. Interwoven with music by Kelly Snook, these audio stories share glimpses of the lives of 10 women from various corners of the world who changed our world for the better — they include Tahirih, Florence Nightingale, and Rosa Parks.
I often get to ask musicians about their albums and their creative processes, but this is my first time interviewing a storyteller. Here’s what Sarah shared with me: Continue reading
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.
I caught up with both Paloma Marin to find out more about her new album 7 Valleys: Continue reading
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!
The album, aptly titled Year of the Nightingale, has just been completed and Luke is releasing the tracks one at a time on his YouTube channel during the month of the Baha’i Fast.
I decided to catch up with Luke to find out more about the album: Continue reading
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 Isle, This is Faith, Yaran and Leather Bound Book. We interviewed Shadi when Verdant Isle was released and we are excited to catch up and hear about Daughters of the Kingdom!
Baha’i Blog: Shadi! So good to interview you again on Baha’i Blog! Since our readers may already be familiar with you, let’s start with how have you changed or grown since we interviewed you last about Verdant Isle? Continue reading
I’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.
I caught up with Bonnie to find out more about her and her album: Continue reading
Born 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.
I decided to get in touch with the three friends who have been playing together since 2011, to find out more about this wonderful initiative, and here’s what Eduardo had to say on behalf of the group: Continue reading
There are so many hidden gems of Baha’i-inspired music scattered around the world, and now hailing from “the land of the long white cloud” (New Zealand), I’m happy to introduce to everyone the wonderful musical works of Steve Lockie.
Steve Lockie has just released his fourth album titled Spirit of Life, and it’s clear from his music that he’s not only a seasoned singer and songwriter, but he’s a natural at it, and it’s great that he’s shared his talents with us by exploring the Baha’i revelation through the art of his music in the short seven years he’s been a Baha’i.
I decided to touch base with Steve about his music and his latest album: Continue reading
As 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