Tariq Ramadan endorses Why the Innocent on social media
Hello, friends and fans. This is a happy blog post, I hope you are willing to read it. Yesterday was a special day for my music, and I would like to share with you why. The reason is: for the first time since I started publishing my music online, which is around the beginning of the century, a truly high-profile celebrity has endorsed one of my songs. It’s Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss academic, philosopher and writer, currently professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University.
If you live across the Atlantic Ocean, you may require a little more introduction. Tariq Ramadan, who is of Egyptian origin, has played an important role in Europe as one of the main intellectual challengers of Islamophobia. His stances, although consistently moderate, have regularly generated an air of controversy.
Tariq Ramadan and Islam in Europe
He is mainly the target of those who insist to paint Islam as a ‘religion of war’, and of those who aim to get Islamic practices in Europe outlawed. He is a gifted speaker, and possesses the ability to inspire and motivate. To many of the Muslims in Europe, especially the younger generation, he is a role model and pillar of support.
Honestly speaking, I am not well-informed about his political stances outside of the topic of ‘Islam in Europe’. In today’s confusing world, I have no clear idea of where his political sympathies lie when it comes to the Middle East, and frankly, this is not my concern. I know that he is a voice of reason in the mentioned debate, and I think all Muslims in the world owe him thanks for this.
So, what happened yesterday? Well, Tariq Ramadan has a new concept these days on his social media accounts, which is to highlight ‘positivity.’ Yesterday, he chose my new song ‘Why the Innocent‘, a soft piano ballad, as his positive thought.
Referring to it as ‘today’s positive thought’, he called it a ‘beautiful song’. He tweeted it on his Twitter account, where he has a staggering 446K followers (told, you, we’re talking high-profile celebrity here). He also posted the song on his Facebook account (followed by almost 2 million people), with the same endorsement.
Considering the fact that his accounts are not typically followed by music lovers, the song plays it generated were relatively limited. What did happen, on the Facebook page, was some discussion on whether it was ‘haram’ (Islamically prohibited) to post a song.
At first, I thought this comment came from Islamic fundamentalists, but on further inspection it appears to have been generated by an Islamophobe. Apart from that, some of Tariq’s followers posted beautiful positive comments below the song (see screenshot further down the page).
No offense meant to others
Yes indeed, this is absolutely wonderful! Now, since I have quite a few people among my friends who are celebrities in their own right, I must write a little disclaimer here. With my opening paragraph, I did not mean to imply that they are not celebrities.
However, two things can be said here: it has rarely ever happened that any of them have endorsed a song of mine, truth be told. And secondly, what I meant to say was that we’re talking about someone with social media accounts that compete with the most famous in the world in terms of numbers. In any case, if I have offended anyone, I apologize; this is not my intention.
So, all in all, yesterday was a great day for my music! Thank you Tariq Ramadan! I will wear the events of yesterday as a badge of honor, and a recognition of my efforts.
Hello: I am not a jazz musician and my music is not really jazz
I think I kind of know how the human mind works. I guess that now even more people think I am a ‘jazz musician’. This song is a piano ballad with a saxophone solo, and is bound to be classified as ‘jazz’, especially by those who are not very familiar with jazz. Add to that my artist name, which I have regretted at times, but is too late to change. When you’re called “Doc Jazz“, it’s a tough challenge to get the public to believe that your music is not really jazz. True, much of it has jazz-influences, but that goes for the majority of today’s pop music, in case you didn’t know.
My music has an incredible variety of musical styles. Much of it is rock and funk, but quite a few songs can be classified as Hip-Hop. Many of my songs are Arabic, but the vast majority have English lyrics and styles. I have two or three piano ballads, but it most certainly does not define my style. It’s always extremely difficult to label my music, but if I have to, I simply resort to the slogan I once invented: “The taste of rock, the scent of jazz, and the feel of funk.” Personally, I believe my music classifies as pop music, although it doesn’t fit in today’s hitparades, I guess.
Don’t judge too fast, you will miss out
As there are currently 105 of my own original songs online , I don’t expect many to browse through all of them. What they do (can’t blame them, really), is pick one, and pass judgment. They might say: ‘this is not my kind of music’, simply because they happened to pick the wrong one. Had they picked a different one, they would have found themselves in an entirely different section of the musical spectrum, and who knows what their judgment would have been. But it doesn’t work like that. People judge, and move on.
Still not convinced? Click here, try ‘Stare it in the Face‘, let’s see if you still think I’m a ‘jazz musician’.
When you care, you share
Anyway, that’s what happens often, and you never get a second chance to make a first impression. The painful disadvantage of not being a single-genre musician! Whether I become more widely classified as a ‘jazz musician’ after this Tariq Ramadan post? I doubt it.
It’s already there, anyway. It sticks to me like white on rice, and I guess it probably angers the real jazz musicians. Apology to them too: I just picked the old nickname my fellow medical students gave me back in the day, as my artist handle. That’s what got me stuck in this, and I have to live with it. It’s not like it’s been doing much good for me, considering what I aim to achieve with my music.
If you read this up to here, thank you very much. Do you share my joy? Then share this article, or retweet Tariq Ramadan’s tweet, or just go about your day, hopefully with a smile on your face. If you didn’t listen to the song yet, I have placed it here below at the bottom of the page.
Best wishes to all who support Palestine! (yep, I know, that came out of nowhere, but people of conscience all support Palestine!)