London, 11 May (IPS) Artists come and go quickly in the music business and many unfortunately tread the same ground covered by many others before them. But there are other artists who make a strong effort to break out of the rut with music that's more thoughtful and significant.
Ali Nourbakhsh, AKA; APoetNomadAli is one of California’s best-kept secrets. He can rap with hip-hop's best and his lyrics ebb and flow in revelations of storytelling. His music is charmingly idiosyncratic and his lyrics have a deft and individual touch enjoyed by a rapidly growing following of fans that recognize him for his intelligent and well-conceived poetic writing.
APoetNomadAli is determined to infiltrate the recording industry with his musicality as a hip hopper and his talent as a lyricist M.C,.
APoetNomadAli is determined to infiltrate the recording industry with his musicality as a hip hopper and his talent as a lyricist M.C, he has a sterling quality and fresh appeal that are evident when listened to and utilizes a myriad of exotic sounds to take his songs to the next level without deviating too far from hip hop's origin. He strives to build on the traditional foundation of hip hop culture while experimenting with new ideas in order to create fresh, melodic, yet gritty creations.
Ali was born in Tehran in 1981 and in 1984 immigrated to the USA. When he talks, however, he sounds considerably older than his 25 years. Right now, as he discusses his life, music and future, he sounds not unlike someone with much more advanced years trying to get to grips with youth culture. “First and foremost” he says “I am writer, whether it is short stories or poetry. The development in hip hop came secondary to time spent fine tuning my writing”.
ApoeomadAli, became interested in music from a very young age. “There was always music in the house, as my dad was a DJ and so from a very young age I was always playing drums or DJing. “Then at around 13 I began to get interested in MCing, because of DJing in school events and functions, I was introduced to the world of having to adapt quickly to a situation to prove yourself in front of a large audience against another person, through freestyle battling”.
ApoetNomadAli is not just a handsome face with a handsome voice. He attended Loyola University, double majored in English, Spanish, and minored in Dance. As well as working for the family limousine business on weekends, which provides DJ’s for events, he holds down four jobs, which begins in the mornings as a substitute teacher, in the afternoon he teaches Spanish to Elementary kids, after which he rushes to teach his four hip hop classes, “then by about 9 o’clock is when I work on my music until I fall asleep”.
He has also formed a Flamenco group called Duende Flamenco when he spent a year in Spain. The group consists of a trio where Ali plays the percussion and vocals with two guitarists. “Duende Flamenco is a group I am part of and in the end I want to bring that all together to one immaculate show. I’m just waiting for the right time. It’s a result of me always enjoying Flamenco, having a passion for it, speaking Spanish and living in Spain, studying Spanish and African percussion and coming back to link it all up”.
In between rushing from one job to the next, one wonders what the driving force is behind this motivated musician. “Two of the scariest things are having no more options left. I have a song called ‘Left Behind’, which is about when you’re young, time is on your side, but as time goes by, its your enemy and those doors behind you shut, and you have to pick one, and if you don’t you’re left with the worst feeling in the world. Above heartbreak, above anything else, the worse thing in the world is wasted potential. That is probably the biggest fear I have, because I know I have potential and opportunity to do a lot of things, I don’t want to lose that”.
These are the profound feelings that only a true poet could express, where clearly his life lessons not only as a young man but also as a Persian living in America has affected his personality and his music. “Absolutely, how could it not?”. He muses “the really unique thing is I would never have envisaged 3 / 4 years ago, that I would be sitting here talking to you, an Iranian American demographic publication like Iran Press Service. At the end of the day I am an Iranian American. Because of growing up here there is a separation with the way I would’ve been shaped had I been raised in Iran, and because of my heritage and culture, there is a separation from being an all American kid, but I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world”
“It’s about surpassing the mental appreciation of our culture, it has such a nice history, the richness, it slowly seeps down to your stomach where you just love it. Growing up in America, you wouldn’t expect that, but the pride I have and the love I have for my people. To be Iranian is not just about speaking Farsi and having connections to Iran, because you could say I have grown less Iranian here than other Persians, with regards to schooling, language, perhaps my Farsi is not as strong, but I will always uphold and embrace the true meaning and true beauty of what it means to be Iranian”.
These are the profound feelings that only a true poet could express, where clearly his life lessons not only as a young man but also as a Persian living in America has affected his personality and his music.
These inspirational words are hints and whispers; which manifest into his promo CD and songs such as ‘Sar Zameen’, which is one of the most mystical, beautiful and touching songs about the Iranian revolution. A mélange of strikingly exotic music, the spine chilling audio news recordings of the revolution and the enigmatic voice of the beautiful Morvarid with the powerfully eloquent words of ApoetNomadAli, the song expresses the deep-felt aching sorrow of a beautiful land taken hostage. At the end of the song you are left with the farewell message of the late Shah. “You can hear his emotion and I wanted to have him talking about Iran, not about what’s right and wrong, but about Iran, his emotion for Iran. It’s about love for that country.”
“The Promo CD is not an album but it’s a huge taste, hence the 18 songs. I have so much that’s been recorded and written that I am at a loss of what to do with it all. The first track illustrates the comedy, that satire, that self-belief, that confusion. I am very organizational and keep my experiences as projects. I talk about an album called ‘Peter Pan Grew Up’, which is about facing the reality of not being that Peter Pan anymore, making those decisions, about that time when it was enough to play basketball all day long, come home and have ghorm-e sabzee, do your homework and go to school - its Peter Pan grew up”.
I have a lyric that says, ‘I’m not a Persian artist, I am an artist that’s Persian’. I hope that you see a kind and caring person and a good artist before you see that I’m Persian but I do want you to know where I am from.”
Due to his strive for perfection and individualism, ApoetNomadAli is on a mission to blaze his own path in the music world, on his on terms, keeping busy working on new material, and will no doubt be making an indelible mark in the music industry soon. Stay tuned! ENDS SADIQI 11506