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- Throwback Thursday. 2012 with Akon: “I was born a Muslim and depending on what part of Senegal you came from, music was considered haram [unlawful] and there has always been a debate about Islam and music. I never looked at the performing aspect of the music itself but on the intention. Even if you look at the daily prayers in Islam we pray in melody, when we hear the call to prayer in any part of the world it is also done with melody, so no one can tell me that music is haram. Now this is my personal point of view and I am not speaking for anyone else,” he said. “Now I am not in a position to judge any man and I don’t expect them to judge me as well, but no matter what decision you decide to make just do right by it. Because, at the end of the day, Allah is watching and he knows what is in your heart." For details go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #interviews #reporting #myuae #myabudhabi #journalism #writing #musicjournalism #musicnerd #akon #senegal
- Throwback Thursday. 2012 with Akon: “I was born a Muslim and depending on what part of Senegal you came from, music was considered haram [unlawful] and there has always been a debate about Islam and music. I never looked at the performing aspect of the music itself but on the intention. Even if you look at the daily prayers in Islam we pray in melody, when we hear the call to prayer in any part of the world it is also done with melody, so no one can tell me that music is haram. Now this is my personal point of view and I am not speaking for anyone else,” he said. “Now I am not in a position to judge any man and I don’t expect them to judge me as well, but no matter what decision you decide to make just do right by it. Because, at the end of the day, Allah is watching and he knows what is in your heart." For details go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #interviews #reporting #myuae #myabudhabi #journalism #writing #musicjournalism #musicnerd #akon #senegal
- Throwback Thursday. 2012 with Akon: “I was born a Muslim and depending on what part of Senegal you came from, music was considered haram [unlawful] and there has always been a debate about Islam and music. I never looked at the performing aspect of the music itself but on the intention. Even if you look at the daily prayers in Islam we pray in melody, when we hear the call to prayer in any part of the world it is also done with melody, so no one can tell me that music is haram. Now this is my personal point of view and I am not speaking for anyone else,” he said. “Now I am not in a position to judge any man and I don’t expect them to judge me as well, but no matter what decision you decide to make just do right by it. Because, at the end of the day, Allah is watching and he knows what is in your heart." For details go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #interviews #reporting #myuae #myabudhabi #journalism #writing #musicjournalism #musicnerd #akon #senegal
- Mobb Deep's The Infamous is hip-hop's The Wire. At the centre is the late Prodigy's lyrics: bleak and uncompromising, the dark beauty of it all - from the pushers and the shooters to the snitches and the cops - is they are all character driven. Each song is a short story that told a greater tale of survival through desperation. The wisdom found here is all hard fought. You could feel the chill of the dreary New York streets he was talking about. I had the pleasure of interviewing the great man last year about the seminal recording. He told it as it is: " our music is the story of our lives, our struggles and where we came from. I think our story is different from everyone else, but at the same time, people can relate to it because we all felt these emotions." #theinfamous #mobbdeep #prodigy #havoc #vale #interviews #reporting #myuae #myabudhabi #journalism #writing #musicjournalism #musicnerd
- Mobb Deep& #39;s The Infamous is hip-hop& #39;s The Wire. At the centre is the late Prodigy& #39;s lyrics: bleak and uncompromising, the dark beauty of it all - from the pushers and the shooters to the snitches and the cops - is they are all character driven. Each song is a short story that told a greater tale of survival through desperation. The wisdom found here is all hard fought. You could feel the chill of the dreary New York streets he was talking about. I had the pleasure of interviewing the great man last year about the seminal recording. He told it as it is: " our music is the story of our lives, our struggles and where we came from. I think our story is different from everyone else, but at the same time, people can relate to it because we all felt these emotions." #theinfamous #mobbdeep #prodigy #havoc #vale #interviews #reporting #myuae #myabudhabi #journalism #writing #musicjournalism #musicnerd
- Mobb Deep's The Infamous is hip-hop's The Wire. At the centre is the late Prodigy's lyrics: bleak and uncompromising, the dark beauty of it all - from the pushers and the shooters to the snitches and the cops - is they are all character driven. Each song is a short story that told a greater tale of survival through desperation. The wisdom found here is all hard fought. You could feel the chill of the dreary New York streets he was talking about. I had the pleasure of interviewing the great man last year about the seminal recording. He told it as it is: " our music is the story of our lives, our struggles and where we came from. I think our story is different from everyone else, but at the same time, people can relate to it because we all felt these emotions." #theinfamous #mobbdeep #prodigy #havoc #vale #interviews #reporting #myuae #myabudhabi #journalism #writing #musicjournalism #musicnerd
- 2015: Cynthia Bond's debut novel Ruby has a subtle intricacy that comes from a life plagued with ­challenges. A victim of child trafficking, and the niece of a woman murdered by the Ku Klux Klan for being involved with a white man in the 1930s, Bond used Ruby to express some of the unresolved tension and ache within. “I used to not like people very much,” she said. “I was angry at God, angry at those around me and I would write about difficult subjects but in such a way to say, ‘Look, this is how the world we live in is, it is so horrible.’ “But as sappy as it may sound, I eventually learnt how to love people. I learnt how we are all struggling to make it in this world the best way we can and how to have compassion for people who don’t even know what’s happening around them. That’s when I wanted to make my writing a way to give people a sense of hope and redemption. I ­wanted it to be a gift.” For the interview go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #cynthiabond #ruby #adib15 #abudhabibookfair #interviews #reporting #myuae #myabudhabi #journalism #writing #author #bookgram #ruby
- 2015: Cynthia Bond& #39;s debut novel Ruby has a subtle intricacy that comes from a life plagued with ­challenges. A victim of child trafficking, and the niece of a woman murdered by the Ku Klux Klan for being involved with a white man in the 1930s, Bond used Ruby to express some of the unresolved tension and ache within. “I used to not like people very much,” she said. “I was angry at God, angry at those around me and I would write about difficult subjects but in such a way to say, ‘Look, this is how the world we live in is, it is so horrible.’ “But as sappy as it may sound, I eventually learnt how to love people. I learnt how we are all struggling to make it in this world the best way we can and how to have compassion for people who don’t even know what’s happening around them. That’s when I wanted to make my writing a way to give people a sense of hope and redemption. I ­wanted it to be a gift.” For the interview go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #cynthiabond #ruby #adib15 #abudhabibookfair #interviews #reporting #myuae #myabudhabi #journalism #writing #author #bookgram #ruby
- 2015: Cynthia Bond's debut novel Ruby has a subtle intricacy that comes from a life plagued with ­challenges. A victim of child trafficking, and the niece of a woman murdered by the Ku Klux Klan for being involved with a white man in the 1930s, Bond used Ruby to express some of the unresolved tension and ache within. “I used to not like people very much,” she said. “I was angry at God, angry at those around me and I would write about difficult subjects but in such a way to say, ‘Look, this is how the world we live in is, it is so horrible.’ “But as sappy as it may sound, I eventually learnt how to love people. I learnt how we are all struggling to make it in this world the best way we can and how to have compassion for people who don’t even know what’s happening around them. That’s when I wanted to make my writing a way to give people a sense of hope and redemption. I ­wanted it to be a gift.” For the interview go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #cynthiabond #ruby #adib15 #abudhabibookfair #interviews #reporting #myuae #myabudhabi #journalism #writing #author #bookgram #ruby
- Throwback Thursday (2016): Happy birthday Marcus Miller. A a legend and gentleman, the American jazz bassist has played with everyone from Miles Davis to Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston. It was a pleasure to sit down with him, discuss his latest album Afrodeezia - which focuses on the African slave trade - and learn from the way he works. His key to creativity, he shares, is to focus on the little things. “You always see artists talking about the sunrises and all that– but there other things, too," he explains ."I can get inspired by people’s voices. Arguments have their own sounds. I always keep notes of what I hear and the feelings I get. The important thing is to keep your eyes open, because inspiration is everywhere. You can see wonderful things. The job of an artist is to then express it in the best way you can." For details go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #interviews #reporting #myuae #myabudhabi #journalism #writing #musicjournalism #musicnerd #marcusmiller #afrodeezia #bassforyourface #bass #jazzman #funk #blackexcellence #milesdavis #mawazine2016 #inspiration
- Throwback Thursday (2016): Happy birthday Marcus Miller. A a legend and gentleman, the American jazz bassist has played with everyone from Miles Davis to Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston. It was a pleasure to sit down with him, discuss his latest album Afrodeezia - which focuses on the African slave trade - and learn from the way he works. His key to creativity, he shares, is to focus on the little things. “You always see artists talking about the sunrises and all that– but there other things, too," he explains ."I can get inspired by people’s voices. Arguments have their own sounds. I always keep notes of what I hear and the feelings I get. The important thing is to keep your eyes open, because inspiration is everywhere. You can see wonderful things. The job of an artist is to then express it in the best way you can." For details go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #interviews #reporting #myuae #myabudhabi #journalism #writing #musicjournalism #musicnerd #marcusmiller #afrodeezia #bassforyourface #bass #jazzman #funk #blackexcellence #milesdavis #mawazine2016 #inspiration
- Throwback Thursday (2016): Happy birthday Marcus Miller. A a legend and gentleman, the American jazz bassist has played with everyone from Miles Davis to Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston. It was a pleasure to sit down with him, discuss his latest album Afrodeezia - which focuses on the African slave trade - and learn from the way he works. His key to creativity, he shares, is to focus on the little things. “You always see artists talking about the sunrises and all that– but there other things, too," he explains ."I can get inspired by people’s voices. Arguments have their own sounds. I always keep notes of what I hear and the feelings I get. The important thing is to keep your eyes open, because inspiration is everywhere. You can see wonderful things. The job of an artist is to then express it in the best way you can." For details go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #interviews #reporting #myuae #myabudhabi #journalism #writing #musicjournalism #musicnerd #marcusmiller #afrodeezia #bassforyourface #bass #jazzman #funk #blackexcellence #milesdavis #mawazine2016 #inspiration
- Three years ago this week I had the pleasure of interviewing Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant. He was in a reflective mood: "I am a man who has been around a lot and I ask myself, do I have anything to say? Is there a song still inside me in my heart, or am I just another rich old rocker? I study life, I see mortality and what’s happening to me and I leave a trail behind me of expectation, disappointment, happiness, questions and strong relationships. So what I realised is that I do have something to say and I wanted to put them into beautiful melodies but I wanted them to be like a trance. I wanted the new music not to be virtuosic and clever with musicality. I wanted the lyric and music to be together in this miasma of sound. So I am getting there, it is good and strong and I am committed to it. I only believe in dealing with the present and looking at the future, but I can’t do any of that if I didn’t have this spectacular history. It is what brought me here and I am aware of that." Interview can be read at www.thenational.ae #mawazine2015 #rabat #robertplant #ledzeppelin #interviews #featurewriting #OG #legend
- Three years ago this week I had the pleasure of interviewing Led Zeppelin& #39;s Robert Plant. He was in a reflective mood: "I am a man who has been around a lot and I ask myself, do I have anything to say? Is there a song still inside me in my heart, or am I just another rich old rocker? I study life, I see mortality and what’s happening to me and I leave a trail behind me of expectation, disappointment, happiness, questions and strong relationships. So what I realised is that I do have something to say and I wanted to put them into beautiful melodies but I wanted them to be like a trance. I wanted the new music not to be virtuosic and clever with musicality. I wanted the lyric and music to be together in this miasma of sound. So I am getting there, it is good and strong and I am committed to it. I only believe in dealing with the present and looking at the future, but I can’t do any of that if I didn’t have this spectacular history. It is what brought me here and I am aware of that." Interview can be read at www.thenational.ae #mawazine2015 #rabat #robertplant #ledzeppelin #interviews #featurewriting #OG #legend
- Three years ago this week I had the pleasure of interviewing Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant. He was in a reflective mood: "I am a man who has been around a lot and I ask myself, do I have anything to say? Is there a song still inside me in my heart, or am I just another rich old rocker? I study life, I see mortality and what’s happening to me and I leave a trail behind me of expectation, disappointment, happiness, questions and strong relationships. So what I realised is that I do have something to say and I wanted to put them into beautiful melodies but I wanted them to be like a trance. I wanted the new music not to be virtuosic and clever with musicality. I wanted the lyric and music to be together in this miasma of sound. So I am getting there, it is good and strong and I am committed to it. I only believe in dealing with the present and looking at the future, but I can’t do any of that if I didn’t have this spectacular history. It is what brought me here and I am aware of that." Interview can be read at www.thenational.ae #mawazine2015 #rabat #robertplant #ledzeppelin #interviews #featurewriting #OG #legend
- A chat with Lotfi Bouchnak, who is hailed as Tunisia's Pavarotti. A wise and warm soul who always has time for up and coming artists: " We are passing in this life and I like to leave a trace and a good image'" he says. "What will you leave in the mind of your audience that has come to see you? When I go on stage, it is like my first performance." For details go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #writing #abudhabi #myabudhabi #inabudhabi #journalism #musicjournalism #interviews #featurewriting #lotfibouchnak #tunis #tunisia #tarab #malouf
- A chat with Lotfi Bouchnak, who is hailed as Tunisia& #39;s Pavarotti. A wise and warm soul who always has time for up and coming artists: " We are passing in this life and I like to leave a trace and a good image& #39; " he says. "What will you leave in the mind of your audience that has come to see you? When I go on stage, it is like my first performance." For details go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #writing #abudhabi #myabudhabi #inabudhabi #journalism #musicjournalism #interviews #featurewriting #lotfibouchnak #tunis #tunisia #tarab #malouf
- A chat with Lotfi Bouchnak, who is hailed as Tunisia's Pavarotti. A wise and warm soul who always has time for up and coming artists: " We are passing in this life and I like to leave a trace and a good image'" he says. "What will you leave in the mind of your audience that has come to see you? When I go on stage, it is like my first performance." For details go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #writing #abudhabi #myabudhabi #inabudhabi #journalism #musicjournalism #interviews #featurewriting #lotfibouchnak #tunis #tunisia #tarab #malouf
- The indomitable Mulatu Astatke. His compositions – with beats that rumble and grind, those dramatic spiralling off-kilter horns and throbbing vibraphone – gave birth to the genre Ethio-jazz. As Astatke explains it, the genre is what it sounds like, literally: “There are five notes to compose on Ethiopian music. Ethio-jazz is basically using those five notes and putting it together on top of the other 12 [the standard 12-note chromatic scale]” he says. “This is not so easy. I am trying to combine both of them together but at the same-time keep the beauty, harmony, sounds and character of Ethiopia. I did not want to loose my country in the mix. Ethio-jazz is where Ethiopia will always be on top of the mix.” For details go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #mulatu #mulatuastatke #ethiojazz #jazz #jazzman #blackexcellence #Africa #ethiopia #interviews #reporting #legend #OG
- The indomitable Mulatu Astatke. His compositions – with beats that rumble and grind, those dramatic spiralling off-kilter horns and throbbing vibraphone – gave birth to the genre Ethio-jazz. As Astatke explains it, the genre is what it sounds like, literally: “There are five notes to compose on Ethiopian music. Ethio-jazz is basically using those five notes and putting it together on top of the other 12 [the standard 12-note chromatic scale]” he says. “This is not so easy. I am trying to combine both of them together but at the same-time keep the beauty, harmony, sounds and character of Ethiopia. I did not want to loose my country in the mix. Ethio-jazz is where Ethiopia will always be on top of the mix.” For details go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #mulatu #mulatuastatke #ethiojazz #jazz #jazzman #blackexcellence #Africa #ethiopia #interviews #reporting #legend #OG
- The indomitable Mulatu Astatke. His compositions – with beats that rumble and grind, those dramatic spiralling off-kilter horns and throbbing vibraphone – gave birth to the genre Ethio-jazz. As Astatke explains it, the genre is what it sounds like, literally: “There are five notes to compose on Ethiopian music. Ethio-jazz is basically using those five notes and putting it together on top of the other 12 [the standard 12-note chromatic scale]” he says. “This is not so easy. I am trying to combine both of them together but at the same-time keep the beauty, harmony, sounds and character of Ethiopia. I did not want to loose my country in the mix. Ethio-jazz is where Ethiopia will always be on top of the mix.” For details go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #mulatu #mulatuastatke #ethiojazz #jazz #jazzman #blackexcellence #Africa #ethiopia #interviews #reporting #legend #OG
- Among all the melodrama, talk shows and comedies that serve as a hallmark of Ramadan television, Jahida Wehbe’s music acts as moments of ­reflection. The acclaimed Lebanese singer and composer collaborated with Abu Dhabi TV on a ­series of 30 spiritual music ­compositions and videos to be aired nightly during the holy month. The ethereal pieces find ­Wehbe’s rich and husky tones paired with evocative oud instrumentation, as she sing poems dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries and written by some of Islam’s great Sufi poets such as Shahab al-Din Yahya ibn Habash Suhrawardi and Abu al-Hasan al-Shushtari. "I want to reach people and ­instruct them to illuminate a dark spot within them. I consider this music from a spiritual aspect," she explains. "Music should offer ­something. There are many entertaining songs on the market – music that moves the body and entertains people. We too seek to entertain people, but through thoughts and feelings." For details go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #reporting #interviews #giglife #journalism #musicjournalism #morocco #maroc #rabat #jahidawehbe
- Among all the melodrama, talk shows and comedies that serve as a hallmark of Ramadan television, Jahida Wehbe’s music acts as moments of ­reflection. The acclaimed Lebanese singer and composer collaborated with Abu Dhabi TV on a ­series of 30 spiritual music ­compositions and videos to be aired nightly during the holy month. The ethereal pieces find ­Wehbe’s rich and husky tones paired with evocative oud instrumentation, as she sing poems dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries and written by some of Islam’s great Sufi poets such as Shahab al-Din Yahya ibn Habash Suhrawardi and Abu al-Hasan al-Shushtari. "I want to reach people and ­instruct them to illuminate a dark spot within them. I consider this music from a spiritual aspect," she explains. "Music should offer ­something. There are many entertaining songs on the market – music that moves the body and entertains people. We too seek to entertain people, but through thoughts and feelings." For details go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #reporting #interviews #giglife #journalism #musicjournalism #morocco #maroc #rabat #jahidawehbe
- Among all the melodrama, talk shows and comedies that serve as a hallmark of Ramadan television, Jahida Wehbe’s music acts as moments of ­reflection. The acclaimed Lebanese singer and composer collaborated with Abu Dhabi TV on a ­series of 30 spiritual music ­compositions and videos to be aired nightly during the holy month. The ethereal pieces find ­Wehbe’s rich and husky tones paired with evocative oud instrumentation, as she sing poems dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries and written by some of Islam’s great Sufi poets such as Shahab al-Din Yahya ibn Habash Suhrawardi and Abu al-Hasan al-Shushtari. "I want to reach people and ­instruct them to illuminate a dark spot within them. I consider this music from a spiritual aspect," she explains. "Music should offer ­something. There are many entertaining songs on the market – music that moves the body and entertains people. We too seek to entertain people, but through thoughts and feelings." For details go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #reporting #interviews #giglife #journalism #musicjournalism #morocco #maroc #rabat #jahidawehbe
- Been blessed to interview some interesting people. I make an attempt with each interview to draw out a life lesson or two for both the reader and myself. This is the Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti. I shared a midnight bus ride with the great man two years ago and we got talking. Times like that I am more a student than a journalist. I keep my mouth shut and listen: "What I am trying to do is give all my senses a chance to surrender to the moment that I am trying to deal with in the poem," he said. "It’s like throwing yourself into the ocean and allowing your body to float and find its way back. Poetry is an attempt to find the surprising from the normal, the amusing from the banal and the extraordinary from the ordinary. That is tiring and that’s why I believe that poetry is a lot like love in that it requires the maximum degree of attention." For details go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #eafol15 #mouridbarghouti #poetry #palestine #reporting #interviews #throwbackthursday
- Been blessed to interview some interesting people. I make an attempt with each interview to draw out a life lesson or two for both the reader and myself. This is the Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti. I shared a midnight bus ride with the great man two years ago and we got talking. Times like that I am more a student than a journalist. I keep my mouth shut and listen: "What I am trying to do is give all my senses a chance to surrender to the moment that I am trying to deal with in the poem," he said. "It’s like throwing yourself into the ocean and allowing your body to float and find its way back. Poetry is an attempt to find the surprising from the normal, the amusing from the banal and the extraordinary from the ordinary. That is tiring and that’s why I believe that poetry is a lot like love in that it requires the maximum degree of attention." For details go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #eafol15 #mouridbarghouti #poetry #palestine #reporting #interviews #throwbackthursday
- Been blessed to interview some interesting people. I make an attempt with each interview to draw out a life lesson or two for both the reader and myself. This is the Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti. I shared a midnight bus ride with the great man two years ago and we got talking. Times like that I am more a student than a journalist. I keep my mouth shut and listen: "What I am trying to do is give all my senses a chance to surrender to the moment that I am trying to deal with in the poem," he said. "It’s like throwing yourself into the ocean and allowing your body to float and find its way back. Poetry is an attempt to find the surprising from the normal, the amusing from the banal and the extraordinary from the ordinary. That is tiring and that’s why I believe that poetry is a lot like love in that it requires the maximum degree of attention." For details go to www.thenational.ae and @thenationaluae #eafol15 #mouridbarghouti #poetry #palestine #reporting #interviews #throwbackthursday
- Three years ago today with the African queen Angélique Kidjo. "My grandmother taught me this ­important lesson: "You can’t love everybody and not everyone will love you. That’s a rule of nature. There are people who like me and those who don’t. That’s the way it is. I am an entire person and I don’t do things without passion and I won’t say anything without meaning it. When you are that kind of personality you don’t have many friends. But it’s not that I am sitting here yearning for more friendships – the ones I have are plentiful." #reporting #interviews #giglife #journalism #angeliquekidjo #lifelessons #masterclass #africa #queen #wisdom #tbt
- Three years ago today with the African queen Angélique Kidjo. "My grandmother taught me this ­important lesson: "You can’t love everybody and not everyone will love you. That’s a rule of nature. There are people who like me and those who don’t. That’s the way it is. I am an entire person and I don’t do things without passion and I won’t say anything without meaning it. When you are that kind of personality you don’t have many friends. But it’s not that I am sitting here yearning for more friendships – the ones I have are plentiful." #reporting #interviews #giglife #journalism #angeliquekidjo #lifelessons #masterclass #africa #queen #wisdom #tbt
- Three years ago today with the African queen Angélique Kidjo. "My grandmother taught me this ­important lesson: "You can’t love everybody and not everyone will love you. That’s a rule of nature. There are people who like me and those who don’t. That’s the way it is. I am an entire person and I don’t do things without passion and I won’t say anything without meaning it. When you are that kind of personality you don’t have many friends. But it’s not that I am sitting here yearning for more friendships – the ones I have are plentiful." #reporting #interviews #giglife #journalism #angeliquekidjo #lifelessons #masterclass #africa #queen #wisdom #tbt

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