It’s no secret that nearly every industry in the world has been dealt devastating blows. One in particular – the music industry – has been impacted from top to bottom with the artists themselves receiving the bulk of the punches. While many bands are struggling to find ways to keep themselves going through online merch sales, virtual concerts, and other inward facing initiatives, internationally beloved singer-songwriter/producer AZAM ALI is facing outward and working on raising money not for herself but for her fellow funds-stricken artists.
Launching “UPLIFT- Azam Ali’s Fundraiser for Artists” today (April 2, 2020), Ali is hoping to raise upwards of $10,000 that will be distributed to her fellow artists to enable them to not only continue making music and art, but, in many cases, to survive.
“Like many people I have been thinking about ways in which I can be of service to others during this period of adjustment,” Ali explains. “As I’ve been speaking with many of my fellow artists…musicians, writers, photographers, teachers etc., I am hearing that they are not just worried about their health, but that they are really hurting financially, some unable to even pay rent.”
The benefit can be found at GoFundMe here:
Writing, composing and arranging a nine minute meditation/ceremonial piece entitled “All That Is Left Is Sky,” she hopes to flatten the economic curve that many artists are facing by offering it for free, in hopes that people who enjoy and download the song with leave a donation that will go 100% to the artist community.
“I am offering this song for free since I know that many people cannot afford to make a contribution at this time,” she explains. “But those of you who can, I ask you to give whatever is within your means. It can even be $1. All the money raised will be distributed evenly among the artist community. In the spirit of transparency, every single artist who receives funds will be named publicly along with the amount that they receive so that donors know exactly where and to whom their contributions are going.”
“Unfortunately majority of us will not qualify for government relief which is why I decided to produce a piece of music and use it to raise funds for my community,” she further explains. “‘All That Is Left Is Sky’ is inspired by nature and the psychic transformation we are all experiencing collectively. I am certain I am not alone in my experience that everything even the sky seems different these days. Or maybe I am just learning to slow down and adopt the pace of nature…to appreciate and bear witness to the eternal dance of creation…from the ephemeral transformation of clouds to the intoxicating smell of roses which I am now making time for.”
An artist whose music and art transcends genre, language and structure, Azam’s career began in the chart-topping and ground-breaking international world electronic/ acoustic group Niyaz. As a solo artist, Azam has received two Canadian JUNO Award nominations and one HMMA (Hollywood Music in Media Award) for her bold artistry. Her music has infiltrated mediums aside from music alone. She has collaborated either in-studio or on stage with Serj Tankian of System of a Down, Peter Murphy of Bauhaus, The Crystal Method, Mickey Hart, among many others. She’s contributed to film and television soundtracks, working with some of Hollywood’s most renowned composers. Some select film titles in her resume include Thor-The Dark World, Matrix- Revolutions, 300, The Fight Club, Dawn of the Dead, True Blood, Alias, The Agency, and Prison Break. She is also a well-known musical force in the video game world. A cross section of titles she’s contributed to include Uncharted 3, Call of Duty, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, and Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow for which she won “Best Original Song” at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards in 2007.
Her critically-acclaimed 2019 album Phantoms (Terrestrial Lane Productions) is a darkly alluring collection of songs built around electronic textures and rhythms the recall the majestic tapestries of 90s-era 4AD Records (Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins) but with modern flourishes woven into its threads. Echoes says, “Phantoms is part evolution and part departure for Azam Ali, but nothing has changed the beauty of her voice. It’s a sultry, sensual instrument that has probably launched thousands of love affairs, as her voice caresses melodies the way a lover caresses a body.”
photo credit: Borna Jafari