Sunday, March 3, 2019


Rahet Fateh Ali Khan is a Pakistani born musician. He is the nephew of the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Rahet Fateh Ali Khan is primarily the singer of the qawwali music type, which is a form of Sufi Islamic devotional music originating from South Asia, and notably popular in the Punjab and Sindh regions of Pakistan; in HyderabadDelhi and other parts of India. I find Qawwali music particularly appealing as it relates to my cultural music choice as well. As a Sikh, I find the idea of singing in a group setting very comforting and always participate when I have the chance. The idea of singing religious poetry in togetherness resonates in both Sufi culture as well as Sikh culture. I have a very high amount of respect for individuals that have devoted their lives to singing and bringing audiences together through their voice. I particularly chose this artist because Rahet is someone who has inspired me throughout life for as long as I can remember. My favorite songs by him is “Nit Khair Mangan”. Below is some more information regarding Rahet through the links provided.

As mentioned before, Rahet’s primary music style is Qawwali. Qawwali is the spiritual music of Indian and Pakistani Sufism, it is rooted in song forms that are over 700 years old. Qawwali songs are worshipful songs that are a tribute to Islamic virtues and shower praise upon Allah (God). Qawwali is envisioned to affect sharply and spirituality through ritualized listening recognized as Sama.

This website displays various music and movie stars and talk about their lives. This website gives all the background information about Rahet and his family as well as some accomplishments about his life. One thing I learned from this website is that the majority of Rahet’s family ancestry from before and now were all singers and composers.

The above website displays some of Rahet’s most popular compositions and songs in the current century. Rahet’s is a popular music singer for today’s youth in the music industry. Some of his most popular songs include “Tumhe Dillagi, Teri Meri, Mere Rashke Qamar, and Nit Khair Mangaan”. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Randy Ruby

Randy Ruby (August 20, 1954 - November 17, 2018)

"In just a few short years, Randy Ruby made a name for himself as a skilled photographer of the Redondo Beach coastline. Often from a kayak or with his feet submerged in water, Ruby captured a side to Redondo Beach and Palos Verdes Peninsula that few people experience in person."

  This site was created by Randy before his death and continues to showcase his beautiful photos of the culture in southern California and the pristine beauty of the ocean.

  This site give a greater insight to Randys fight with cancer and an eventual amputation. It also goes into depth on the impact that he had on the entire community. 

The reason I find Randy Ruby such an important artist to share is because of his extremely positive outlook on life. Even in the darkest times he always appreciated being able to live along the coast and have such a beautiful view every day. I grew up with him always taking pictures of my friends and I surfing down at the beach when we were young and he has always been a very positive force in the community and it is very easy to tell. He would walk, kayak, paddle board, or drive along the coast every day, rain or shine. Because of this he was able to capture some truly amazing shots that many people dong get to see very often. 

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Kim Jonghyun

Image result for kim jonghyun poet artist

Kim Jonghyun, is mostly known as an author and singer-songwriter from South Korea, he lived from April 8, 1990 - December 18, 2017. Jonghyun has an extremely distinctive voice, he has played around with many styles such as 80s funk pop, tropical house, EDM, and alternative R&B. Within his solo work he distinguishes himself from a lot of the general stereotypical kpop expectations, in which he came from, being originally from the kpop group SHINee. I enjoy Jonghyun's creative expression, within the songs he writes and performs you can see how deeply he connects with every single word he belts. He is transparent in expressing his struggles in the form of a poetic fashion. I am able to feel and connect with the way he writes within some of his songs. Many of Jonghyun's songs are much more of a sad tone but they are written in a beautifully colorful way, which bring happiness in embracing darker emotions, expressing them and aiming to rise above them. I believe somewhere within the time he was alive as an artist he hoped to connect to fans, comfort them and remind them that they are not alone. Jonghyun often talked about wanting to be seen as a poet and an artist, that is exactly how I see him.

Below are the lyrics and musical composition to a song called skeletal flowers.

Diphylleia Grayi (Skeletal Flowers)

You're a flower that becomes transparent as you get wet
Our relationships, the white petal becomes damp because of remorse
Although you're transparent, but you don't disappear
When I can't see you, I thought you aren't even hurting
So what you couldn't hold on to even though you knew
Actually hurts like being ripped apart, like dying
Because I'm drenched in tears
That blatant fault of mine can't be seen now
 Ah, so you're blown of by wind
Ah, so you're getting wet from dew
 The petals right in front of me
You bear the strong scent that deceived me
You confine me in the room of eternity such that I can't find you
So you're laughing craftily and purely
 Ah, so you're blown of by wind
Ah, so you're getting wet from dew
 As time passes even the white petals will wither away
Without the memories that has become transparent
 Ah, so you're blown off by sadness
Ah, so you're getting wet from tears
 As time passes...
As time passes...
As time passes...
As time passes...
As time passes...
As time passes...
 As time passes...

Image result for skeleton flower composition kim jonghyun

This article provides insight to how he wrote his songs in general and in particular how he writes
songs for his first album, this interview takes place during the release of his first album.

This article is a review of Jonghyun's final album, it looks at some of the songs and talks about
their strengths and weaknesses.

This website provides a biography which holds interesting points about Jonghyuns life
as it runs through of his life.

Nawal EL Kuwaitia

Nawal EL Kuwaitia is a Kuwaiti singer who is very popular in the Middle East. Nawal Started her career with her first Album in 1984. All of her albums since the fist one were named by the number of the year it was released. She is considered one of the best female singers in the gulf region of the middle east She is also known as Qaitharat Al Khaleej which means Harp of the khaleeji song aka the Gulf region of the Middle East. What makes Nawal also very unique is that she is one of the very few female singers that lasted for decades making music in the Middle east region of the world. She released 19 albums since 1984, and the latest one in 2019.

Nawal El Kuwaitia is my favorite singer because the first song I remember in my life is her song. I enjoyed listening to her as a child and her music brought me so much joy. Not only that I enjoyed her music but I also remember singing one of her songs in my first ever Karaoke. She made so many great songs that did not loss any popularity, and people still repeat the same songs over and over again, even songs from her first album in 1984. It is 2019 now and she is still making music and still very popular. 

This link provides a brief introduction to Nawal EL Kuwaitia. It is a good place to get an idea of who she is and what did she do. There is few information but they are interesting to get to know some of Nawal El Kuwaitia accomplishments in the Khaleeji Music scene and the Arab world in general. 

This is an interesting article, about how Nawal was the first female artist to drive in Saudi Arabia after the ban was lifted. It was after she finished her concert, and the night the law kicked in. It is interesting because she is showing support for females in that region by being one of the first to drive, and I believe that can aspire more females to drive and take actions. 

This is Nawal official Youtube channel. It is a great place to find and listen to most if not all of her music. It is a great place for you to get to know new kind of music. Khaleeji music is different but many people around the world can appreciate good music regardless of the language of the song. 

Otis Redding

Otis Ray Redding Jr. born on September 9th, 1941, was an American singer songwriter and an influential giant of the soul and blues music genre. Redding was raised in Macon, Georgia where he grew up singing in his church choir, at school and in local theater competitions. His career started with him joining Little Richard's band The Upsetters,  then Johnny Jenkins band, The Pinetoppers. After a recording session for Johhny's band at Stax Records, Otis was allowed to stay after which gave him the chance to record his first hit single "These Arms of Mine". Redding recorded his first full album in 1962, his popularity skyrocketed because his singing style influenced, by gospel, was so clearly able to carry emotions across his music and into the hearts of anyone who listens. Otis had an untimely death at the age of 26 cutting his career short, but he has and still is gaining major accolades, like induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award, for his accomplishments in the music industry. Redding is most known for his songs "(Sitting on) The Dock by the Bay", "Respect" later performed by Aretha Franklin, and "Try a Little Tenderness". People from my generation (millennial) may recognize Otis' voice from samples of his music used by current artists like Kanye, Jay-Z, Travis Scott and Quavo.  I picked him as an artist to share, because many people my age don't delve back into the history of music and the influence the musicians of the 50's and 60's have on the current sound of pop music. Redding's music is timeless and has a touching quality that transcends and genres and ages.
This is Otis Redding's own website where you can read about his history and musical accomplishments. This specific link is to his foundation that supports the education of children through support of humanities and the arts.
Live performance of Otis Redding's hit song "Try a Little Tenderness".
NPR host Scott Simon is joined by Jonathan Gould to discuss Gould's biography of the late singer and how he came to be such a legend.

In Gambino We Trust

Childish Forever for In Gambino We Trust

"I'm here for a good not a long time" - Donald Glover

Why do I love Childish Gambino? 

It's rather a simplistic reason, and that is I find his lyrics incredibly ingenious. I've always love puns, double entendre, euphemisms, just the pure talent that already goes into crafting a song, but then to elevate it further with having humor, whilst also talking about real issues that he and many other individuals faced growing up. Particularly in his first album Camp released back in 2011, his song That Power he speaks about being mixed race or a light skinned African-American who has difficulty identifying with both white and black peers, as well as the racism he face in general growing up Stone Mountain, Georgia.
Lovin' white dudes who call me white and then try to hate
When I wasn’t white enough to use your pool when I was eight
Stone Mountain, you raised me well
I’m stared at by Confederates, but hard as hell
Tight jeans, penny loafers, but I still drink a four dime
Staying on my me shit, but hated on by both sides
I’m just a kid who blowing up with my father’s name
And every black "you're not black enough"
Is a white "you're all the same" 

That Power - Camp

A New Hope for a Star

Donald Glover didn't always start off a musician though, he career was originally in acting particular the show most notable Community, in which he played the character Troy, his acting career soared although once his alternate persona of Childish Gambino was released. In fact it isn't uncommon nowadays to see musician merging into the acting world an vice versa. His show Atlanta received tremendous admiration for the topics of socio-economics of a struggling individual trying to make it in the world with a family.  In part because of his music career he was offered roles such as Lando Calrissian in the Solo: A Star Wars Story and a cameo Spider-Man: Homecoming all could attributed yet again to his ever growing stardom from his music he produced and the fans that followed him religiously.  

Growing up from Being Childish 

That's right, Donald Glover announced back in 2017 that upon finishing last project he'd be no longer producing music as Childish Gambino, because he wished to return back to focusing on acting.  In his song We Ain't Them from his album Royalty back in 2012, he makes a reference on how even his family views his life decision regarding his career choices that are often seen as very lucrative and yet he walks away from them, but to Donald Glover it's not about the money, it's about sending a message. That message although seen as cliche is often the hardest one to live out, and that do what you love, and if they can pay you to do it even better, but never settle for a paycheck. Money comes and goes, but happiness should never be a commodity we monetize. Growing up my dad always told me and my siblings that we can do whatever we want in life as long as it puts food on the table. Often we are told what message of be whoever you want as long as it's something seem a prestigious. That we require constant gratification from our peers. When we go on vacation we have to document every little bit because we have show all those on our social media how much fun we're having, but the truth of the matter is whilst we're taking all those photos, you're often missing out on life around you. The fact that Facebook analytics shows that most individuals wait for peak times to post their content between 12pm-4pm when they expect the most amount of users are online as to hope to receive mass amounts of likes and comments shows that we online live to please others, and forget to live for ourselves.  Donald Glover was not about that lifestyle in fact when I attended his last concert in Canada back in December he asked his audience to turn off their phone and not video record, because he wanted this experience to be something intimate. To just be something that remained between him and us, and not the world. He asked that his fans not commoditize this memory, because he felt if you wanted something like that then just go buy his music online and listen to it at home. "This was Church" is how he put it at his concert. He wished to give us a genuinely unique performance that no else that didn't attend would ever see. For the us, ones who made the effort to come and attend despite the original show being reschedule to a later date due to an injury he had over the summer. 

That reminds me - I sent a long text message to my mom and pop
I got the same speech when I left 30 Rock
My mom like "Why you wanna leave a good job?"
My dad like "Do your thing, boy, don't stop"

We Ain't Them - Royalty

Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur 

The artist I have chosen is Rupi Kaur. I am extremely inspired by her poetry and every time I read her books I feel as though she is taking the words from my mouth that I didn’t even know I wanted to say. She is only 26 years old and is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. She was 22 when she published her first book of poetry, Milk and Honey, in 2014. Since then she has published one other book called The Sun and Her Flowers in 2017. Kaur travels all over the world and reads the poems from her books to huge audiences. Milk and Honey is about surviving sexual assault and her very personal life story as a 21-year-old. There are four sections in Milk and Honey: “the hurting”, “the loving”, “the breaking”, and “the healing”. Each page of her books contains a poem and on most of the pages there are also sketches that she hand-drew to match the poem on that page. In both of her books everything is lowercase, which is a style I find really neat and I usually tend to text in all lowercase. She is inspiring young girls and women to love themselves and break down the walls society puts up. 

As a 21-year-old I am blown away by her accomplishments at such a young age. I find her so inspiring because she was able to turn the trauma and darkest times of her life into something so beautiful, and she is sharing her struggle and healing process with the rest of the world so they also hopefully find healing and strength by seeing the example she sets. She is a feminist and most of her poems are empowering women to love themselves. I want to heal from my own struggles by making art and creating something beautiful from the pain I have experienced just like she has, and that is why I chose to write a blog post about Rupi Kaur. I hope everyone will take some time and check out her poems and see how talented she is. 

This is Rupi Kaur's website that gives a brief description of who she is. There are also other tabs that give more information about her books and her story as a poet. Under the art direction tab, you can find some of the photography photos she has directed and taken that is incredible. 

This is Rupi Kaur's Instagram where she posts pictures of her poems, and also beautiful self-portraits that many amazing photographers have taken.

This is a Ted Talk that Rupi Kaur did and it is called I'm Taking My Body Back. In this Ted Talk she uses poetry and narrative to tell her story and her journey as a poet.