Buy a Record, Make a Difference is a new series we have created to help local musicians generate income during COVID-19. It is based on the principle that we should support and reward the hard work local artists have already put into recordings, as it is an immensely difficult undertaking to be creating new material under current circumstances. There is currently a lot of emphasis on livestreaming and innovation in our industry, and while those things absolutely have their place, we think it’s also important to boost projects that have already been completed.
In each post, we’ll ask a local artist a series of the same questions, give them the opportunity to talk about recordings they’re proud of, and ask them to talk about other local musicians whose work they admire. It’s our hope that you’ll take the time to listen to & purchase the work of local artists, or at the very least share their work with others.
1. Who are you?
My name is Ruby Singh, and I am an interdisciplinary artist based on the unceded lands of the Musqueam, Skxwú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh (Vancouver BC). I’ve been a long time friend and performer at VIJF and last year i was lucky enough to be asked to come and help with the Cypher program which is dedicated to developing emerging artists. I work collaboratively with a wide variety of musicians including my latest release, “Jhalaak”, where I was lucky enough to work with an incredible family from Rajasthan and BC based producer Adham Shaikh. Jhalaak is a Sufi HipHop project that leans back to the mystic music and poetry of the 13th century and rides that current into the future with global bass sounds. You can find out more here.
2. Describe your music as best you can.
Jhalaak brings together the powerful sounds of Qawwali (devotional Sufi music from Pakistan and India), hip hop, and EDM. The lyrics range back to the poetry of Sufi saints in the 13th century to present day, and I do rap interpretations of the Sufi poetry in the songs. This self titled album ranges from contemplative numbers that look deeper into our longing nature, to groove oriented tracks that will get your body moving.
3. What’s your latest recording (or a recording you’d like to promote)? Where can people get it?
Jhalaak’s self titled album has been in the works for 6 years, with travel back and forth several times between here and Rajasthan India. We are releasing it exclusively on BandCamp to raise money for the family in Rajasthan and the commune of artists they support. Though we may have things like CERB here to help artists through this challenging time, the family over there is left with no work and no income for the foreseeable future. You can buy it here.
4. Is there another local musician whose work you’d like to give a shout out to?
I’d like to give a shout out Khari Wendell McClelland, because his music and person has been such a gift to this city.