To stop myself clogging up other threads rambling on about just how good I feel Mustafa is I figured I’d start a thread.
Generally some distance from a genre I usually occupy myself with, I’m really loving listening to his debut album When Smoke Rises. At around 23 minutes it feels like an ideal introduction to an artist that can grown and grow. I really do feel we may have a superstar on our hands here. The way in which he seamlessly wanders through musical genres.
The album feels brewing and full of loss, his vocal talent is clear. The overarching feel is one of peace and hope. To me, post pandemic, which we are almost at, this feels like a fresh start, a re-set. I love the all encompassing vibe of the record and hope it reaches as many ears as it deserves to.
The below track isn’t even the best track on the album, feels so honest, touching and direct. I kind of like the way the music videos are shot also, but it’s the music that matters. I would be interested to read what people think…
It’s a wonderful record, mainly operating somewhere in the territory between Frank Ocean and James Blake. At times it reminds me a bit of the first Anthony and the Johnsons record, at others it’s more hip hop adjacent.
As you say it has a real emotional punch and he is a really fine songwriter. Probably the best debut album I’ve heard this year.
Thank you, I’ve never heard Frank Ocean (knowingly), same for James Blake. I get the Antony & the Johnsons link though although that never occurred to me but you are right.
I read that he listened to Cat Stevens a lot as a child, and, although I generally do not listen to Cat Stevens, I get the influence and interpretation. I kind of feel given his age and potential appeal, the vibe of the album could go some way to unifying North American (he’s Canadian I know), given the damage and hate America has gone through in recent years. The record feels like a perfect olive branch of hope.
Nice article. That video of him as a youngster is great. I’d kind of like to hear him full on rap (although he sure can sing), I guess he can do it from the link in that article. Some really cool lyrical flow, delivery and words of real thought.
Is this the brown vinyl? I read there were 500 of that, the the rest in black. I figure it should blow up but I might be wrong. I love the record. Each time I listen to it a different song comes to the fore. Air Forces is a monster track.
It’s the black. Not fussed about coloured pressings too much. Sounds great. Can only think of 2 albums of equivalent length that have had such an impact on a couple of listens and they’re very different: Daytona by Pusha T and Lost Wisdom by Mt Eerie.
It is chilled but to my ears it feels like there is something really brewing underneath it. It is a very thoughtful and positive record - I do feel he may not have revealed his full hand yet. I could see Mustafa guesting on a really dark, heavy hitting modern Hip Hop record, I can’t think of the likes who right now, but someone huge and him then blowing up in a big way. All I feel is he needs the exposure and I can see his voice and musical style appealing to practically anyone, from older fans of Cat Stevens and the like to modern RnB & Hip Hop fans, etc.
Of the 8 tracks, I like that they are short (as is the album), it never feels like a chore to listen to it and it does get better with each listen. I keep switching which one of the 7 tracks I like 2nd best, because Air Forces is another level.