Always in search of sultry music, I have found the ultimate artist who checks off my box for sultriness, as well as authenticity.
The song, Gospel No. 1, is about heartbreak and turning to spirituality as a way to reconnect with yourself. It features a Latinx Muslim, who shares a culturally diverse look of Islam that has virtually no representation in popular media.
It stars Myree Tillotson as the beautiful Muslim woman in the video. The video is by Brandy Young, Shireen Alihaji, Jaime Ballesteros, Robert Penna, Marina Hernandez, Jessica Augustine, Melissa Perez, Bernabe Bolanos, Kris Fortin, David Aquino and Servando Vargas. The song was composed by Shireen Alihaji, Rene Pacheco, Crystal Cerecedes, Jonathan Rivera, Andrew Ramirez and Art Zavala Jr. It was inspired by a poem from Rumi and a hadith by Qudsi.
That sultry voice you hear on the track is Shireen Alihaji, who is a documentary filmmaker from Los Angeles covering social issues such gender equality, labor rights, environmental justice, hate crimes, services for disabled individuals, capital punishment, transportation equity, healthcare reform, human trafficking and immigration.
Shireen grew up in the mosque as a student of the Islamic Center of Southern California and today volunteers the at Women’s Mosque of America. She believes that the tradition of storytelling restores justice in affirming one’s experience and reflecting back narratives that makes spaces for others to exist. As a child of dual-ethnic (Iranian/Ecuadorian) and dual-faith (Muslim/Catholic) upbringing, she seeks to create environments that provide modes of existence for disenfranchised identities. www.blueveilfilms.com