27.03.17

Hey guys, you might be thinking why the title of this post is in fact a date, especially a date set in the not-so-distant-past. The true story is that I first published this post about a year ago, more a less around the time of the first Muslim Women’s Day. I remember I couldn’t quite believe that a date in the calendar (27th March) had been set aside to celebrate Muslim women and their achievements (Happy Days!!!). However for some reason unbeknownst to me, my original post (27.03.17) disappeared from my blog and ended up in my drafts. I don’t quite know why this happened- but I was thinking that maybe somebody reported it and that it had to be taken down. It’s funny because this was the first time I had written a post which touched on topics to do with faith and religion. Anyway coincidental or otherwise…I have decided to re-package and publish the post again…In my original post, I spoke about Mona Haydar and her song, “Hijabi.” Another song of hers that I like is “Dog” ft Jackie Cruz, in which she raps about sleazy and inappropriate men and calls them out as dogs. At the end of the video, two statistics flash up on the screen, “1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime” and “In the time it took to watch this video, 27 women in the US have been assaulted or abused.”

This year the theme of Muslim Women’s Day was about women standing up to violence, which is a campaign that I fully support and hope will continue to raise awareness on an issue that unfortunately affects many women across different cultures, backgrounds and countries.

Please see below for the original (27.03.17) post:

“I thought Monday 27th March 2017, was just like any other day, but oh how wrong I was!!! This date actually marked Muslim Women’s Day…whaat I couldn’t believe my eyes!!! Had there been others that I had missed??? No, today marked the first ever one!!! A day that celebrates the achievements of muslim women and places them at the forefront…could not have come at a better time.

The brains behind this awesome campaign came from MuslimGirlwhich is a new favourite website of mine. Even though “muslim” women are the target audience, the website is great because it discusses a variety of contemporary issues that are relatable to all women.

Thanks to MuslimGirl, I discovered the artist/poet, Mona Haydar whose song Hijabi (Wrap my hijab) was released on the 27.03.17. When I gave it a listen, I loved everything about it from the lyrics, to the background music and the way Mona raps over a slick beat. The song is very much a pro-hijab anthem which champions the women who choose to wear the religious veil. It is also unashamedly feminist with lyrics like, “Make a feminist planet, women haters get banished, covered up or not don’t ever take us for granted.”

Despite what people might think about the hijab or what it represents, Mona makes it clear that she will still continue to wear her headscarf.

“What that hair look like, bet that hair look nice? How long your hair is, you need to get yo life…”

“So even if you hate it, I still wrap my hijab, wrap my hijab, wrap my hijab…”

The hijab is like the dress code for muslim women and it symbolises modesty, obedience and faith not oppression and lack of freedom…so please don’t get it twisted.

I have so much admiration and respect for those who choose to wear the hijab because by doing so, people automatically know what religion they practise. It’s like wearing a T-shirt that says, “Look at me, I am a muslim.”

In our current climate, muslims are unfortunately paying the price for the actions of a minority. Muslims are being branded as “terrorists” and face being assaulted by those who actually believe this to be true…For this reason, I have even more respect for the women who choose to “wrap their hijabs” before leaving their homes.”

 

mona haydar

Mona Haydar

Muslim Women's Day 2018

Muslim Women’s Day 2018

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Nothing But Thieves stole my ears and attention!!!

Thanks to BBC Radio 1 I have been introduced to some amazing bands and musicians that I never knew existed before. Like the Essex-band, “Nothing But Thieves” who have been releasing some smashing tunes!!! I seriously can’t fault the music they have brought out so far 🙂  I remember when I first heard their song “Itch” … I was at work and whenever the chorus came on. I had to fight so hard to sit still in my chair because it made me want to bust some moves.

Not to mention that the lead singer has an impressive vocal as he can hold long, high notes with ease (his voice sounds quite operatic at times).

I am loving their song “Trip Switch” which has been doing the rounds on the radio 1 playlist. It has a beat that I can really groove along to. It is not the type of rock music that only serves the head-banging crowd.

All I can say is keep doing what you’re doing LADS!!! You’re doing a great job!!!

Tori Kelly has an Unbreakable Smile

Tori Kelly is an incredible vocalist. Just watch her live performances and I’m sure you will agree. Therefore, it makes me wonder how Simon Cowell could find her voice “annoying” when she auditioned for American Idol.  After being eliminated from the show, she continued to upload covers on her YouTube channel and gained many fans and supporters. There has been huge love for Tori Kelly for awhile now and thanks to performances on the “BET awards”, “The View” and “The Late Late Show with James Corden” more and more people have been introduced to her talent. I was late to the “Tori Kelly Party” and only discovered her through collaborations with other artists. She featured on a song called “Lullaby” with Professor Green which helped her get exposure in the UK. For the BBC live lounge, the pair covered Ed Sheeran’s song “Don’t” and I was blown away. She has great vocal control and this raspiness to her voice when she sings high or loud notes. Her debut album “Unbreakable Smile” has recently been released and her songs “Should’ve Been Us” and “Unbreakable Smile” are a couple of my favourite tracks. I like the fact that after her exit from American Idol she never gave up on her dream and worked even harder to get where she is today. She truly has an unbreakable smile (and also the last laugh now) 🙂

(Lyric): But don’t mistake kindness for weakness (Unbreakable Smile)

I’d Rather Be Anywhere Else But Here

It has been awhile since I’ve heard a song, that I completely relate to (in terms of lyrics). What the singer, Alessia Cara has done is written a song about a situation that I believe most people have experienced. The song “Here” is an honest account of the thoughts you have in your head, when you attend a party that you wish you had never come to. You may have shown up to the party with a great group of friends but still find you can’t have a good time. When I’m not enjoying myself at a party I usually feel detached from everybody else and like I don’t fit in with the atmosphere of the party.

(Lyric): ” I ask myself what am I doing here”/ “But really I would rather be at home all by myself, not in this room with people who don’t care about my well-being/ “I shoulda never come to this.” Not only is the song lyrically on point but when she performs it live her voice sounds just as good as the studio version. Her vocals are strong and she has a rap element to her singing voice. It’s like it wouldn’t surprise me if she could rap as well as sing. 😉

Come and get it if YOU really want it

John Newman is back on the scene and his new song “Come and Get It” is unbelievably good 🙂 Before hearing the song, I had expected it to sound very different because of what I knew of the video. The stills showed a stylish-looking music video that had been shot in black + white so I automatically thought the song would be a slow-tempo ballad. Therefore you can imagine my surprise, when I heard it on the radio.”Definitely not a slow-tempo BALLAD.”

The FIRST listen was all I needed to get hooked: the verses are brilliant and they build up to the HUGE sing-along chorus, which I love!!!  I am so happy that the lead single from his new album has gone down so well and because he is from Yorkshire even happier (Yorkshire folk UNITE!!!)

Rudimental take back seat to let bright new stars ride up front (vroom)…

When I watched Rudimental’s set at Glastonbury (on TV may I add), I remember thinking “Everybody on that stage looks like they are having the best time.” From the four guys that make up Rudimental to the brass players, singers and drummers that join them on tour, there were plenty of smiling faces🙂 

From their set a song that stuck out for me was “Rumour Mill”. It is a duet that features amazing vocals from Will Heard and Anne-Marie. You may know Will Heard from the song “Sonnentanz” by Austrian DJs Klangkarussell and Anne-Marie has been touring with Rudimental for 2 years. What I admire about Rudimental is that they offer support to fresh and upcoming artists. Their song “Rumour Mill” is proof of this as they have let the vocalists take centre stage.

Check out the music video below to see Will Heard and Anne-Marie just casually hanging out in a car 😉

Stuck In My Teeth

Circa Waves is a British band that hails from Liverpool. They sure know how to give their songs some excellent names like “T-Shirt Weather” and “Stuck In My Teeth.” “Stuck In My Teeth” is a fun, feel-good track with summery vibes. When I listen to this song it makes me think of surfboards, tie-dye shirts and hot beaches. (Lyric) “I’m a little too young with not enough time.”

Worth the wait for Mr Ronson

Mark Ronson is back!!! Reclaiming his spot as an amazing DJ/producer. “Uptown Funk” was an infectious slice of toe-tapping funk that took the world by storm. His new single “I Can’t Lose” is even better and features killer vocals from Keyone Starr. “Uptown Funk” sounded so different from his previous music, whereas “I Can’t Lose” captures Ronson’s signature sound. I advice for this song to be listened to, when the volume is TURNED UP!!!