with Ilyas Mao
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You know we do that. Why? sync up the audio?
Just below 100 sorry, only I can do that. starting again
Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala rasulillah salam aleikum wa rahmatullah what I care to welcome to this very first podcast is it, it's the first Yo, I get the honor, you have to be honored to be very honored. And you know, this is a very special moment for me because it's coming full circle. I started off with a show on Youtube called Hangout, where I was interviewing mainly shoe and students of knowledge. And I felt that there were a lot of people I was missing out on, there were a lot of, you know, really cool Muslims that were doing things that were really interesting. And I felt that I needed a platform to discuss them, and discuss issues with them. And so I teamed up with Aetna, and
we put together this podcast series which inshallah will be a first of many. So interviewing, cool, interesting, fun, fascinating Muslims talking about issues which are relevant to us issues that maybe perhaps we have not examined from every single angle. And at the same time, you know, talking about people's journeys, and how they've come to where they are today. So my first guest, in this new experience is a dear friend of mine, a brother, who I could say I have had the honor of knowing for about, well, when did we meet like 2020 1515? Yeah, two tug of war. 2015. Yeah. before the birth, that's when I gave birth to you in 2015. That makes you How old?
Four years old?
Yours, me? Yeah, well, you look a lot older than four, to be honest. But you've been active, meaning you've been actively performing, touring, traveling the world making music now for four years, my good friend with an Indian smile. So I know, I know a bit of your journey. But I feel like there's even some things that maybe we haven't spoken about in terms of your own backstory and how you got started, what really pushed you into this creative realm, because creativity is something that still we find amongst many Muslim families is something that is oftentimes not encouraged or, I mean, creativity can be encouraged in certain aspects. But other times, when it comes to pursue pursuing
it as a full time job, it's not something that people would necessarily promote. So give me a bit of a backstory as to your own journey with art. How did you first get interested in singing and songwriting? What was that journey like for you? Well, I believe that creativity is inherited from your, you know, your descendants? Because you think that far? Yeah, absolutely, man, because, um, it's gonna clip Oh, yeah, you're an audio guy. Sorry, I shouldn't be doing this for you.
Guys, good. So
since I was young, I would, you know, listen to what my parents would listen to, and literally imitate it. I was as young as three years old. And so I grew up because my parents, they come from creative backgrounds as well. Right? You know what I'm saying? They're their brothers and sisters, like my uncle's from both sides of the family
are creatives either musically or artistic? Like visual arts?
poetry. So I come from a family of like, creatives, and you know, they say Somalia is the land of poets, land of poets. Absolutely. Our language is poetic. When we're speaking, when we speak in metaphors, when I speak poetic.
So I feel like I was born with it. Okay, that's what I truly believe. Because when I see my son now, at three years old, the way he can
grasp onto sounds is unbelievable. I get, I get so shocked. Like, I released a track called sometimes just recently, and he listens to it.
And two days passes by, he's singing along.
So I look at him I'm like, is that how I was? When I when you think he got the gene from you know, from me? Exactly. It's like the mutant gene, basically. So you're basically an x men exact so you're basically Wolverine. Exactly. So I'm basically Jean Grey. That's a weird analogy. I'm not into x men, men.
Wolverines and so so I don't know about that. Yeah, so go ahead. So your son now forward your son you feel may also have he definitely not cease to love art in the same way. He definitely has. Okay, which is like some panela. I feel it. My wife tells me you gave birth to yourself. A lot.
That is I think we need we need to get a ruling on that. See how that works. He goes, this guy's just like you alone, he grasped that. So I truly believe that I got it. I was born with it. Hmm. But growing up, my parents never really pushed me towards my creativity to learn to pursue it. They always I mean, you have to understand, they came from back home, they fled the war, they come to Canada, you you obviously, you know, want your children to have a better future. Because they had to start from the from scratch, right? And we were all young, I was eight years old. And obviously, I understand where they're coming from. They want their kids to have bright futures. And what they
thought was a bright future was to go to university, get a professional job and work for somebody for the rest of your life. Right. Which you did at some point. I mean, you did you say you did start off in that direction. So you did go university? Right. What did you study in university? I studied business marketing, business marketing. Okay, at the wonderful illustrious University University of Guelph would you hate on I don't know why no, I don't hate on it and hate on its on itself. No, wait on it. Just just what it is. People know. You know, this guy comes to my city. He's performing in my city. And then he's dissing the crap a la Hola. We have to be honest with them. I don't know how to
tell you. I don't lie. I don't like any.
You know, I mean, golf is a nice town, I'd be honest with you. So gwelf is for those of you outside of Canada. gwelf is like where people from Toronto go when they join the witness protection program. It's a very nice, quiet, small town. Everybody knows your name, everybody. Everyone's related to everyone in Guelph. In fact, your entire family is like the mafia of golf. Let me tell you something I didn't find I knew golf was small. When I came to visit you in wealth, and it was like, Alright, let's go take a walk. Let's go to this pizza shop. And you're like, Oh, yeah, this guy owns a pizza shops, my cousin and then there are let's go down here. The barber shop. Oh, yeah, this barber shop
is owned by my brother. And then Oh, so you guys are like, the COP is like, yeah, the COP is my cousin. And my dad is the mayor. And it's like, what is going as a comic book or what?
I have a big family. What can I say? Okay, so a small town. So obviously, you guys take up a lot of space there. Absolutely. Absolutely. And you're very diverse. like everyone's in your brothers are. One has a you know, barber shop, other people are in marketing. So my family is of an entrepreneurial family. All my brothers, my cousins, we are meant to, I don't know if we're meant to, but we just go towards working for ourselves. Rather than working for a boss. Right? You understand what I'm saying? So my brothers opened up a barber shop, you know, whatever you were
marketing, marketing. So when you explain to your parents that you wanted to make this a full time thing, you know, doing and pursuing art. I didn't. I didn't mention it to them. I, by the time I started
doing the shields, I was already married, I had my own life. You know what I'm saying? I left the house, I have my own place. So they couldn't stop you. They can't really stop me. Right? He didn't need permission anymore. The year that I graduated university, I actually got a professional job. And I was working nine to five. And I just couldn't do it. I honestly brother, I couldn't do it. I was you know, I was always stressed out.
So, you know, I come home one day, and my wife tells me I can't see you, you know, being miserable every day and I tried to hide it right? I would come home. I try to hide it. And she would tell me, I'm sorry. I can read through you. And you know, and hamdulillah she supported me throughout the way she knew I was passionate about you know, music and sounds and engineering and producing and all of that. And Alhamdulillah actually, Allah has actually put me into the you know the right direction because what I was into before that before the whole machine stuff, I was into dirty stuff, man I couldn't live with myself. I felt guilty I just but now this is when you were making music music
right? Okay, like hot. I'm hot. I'm hot. I'm hot. I'm so not even like the you know, is mute. Is our instruments permissible? No way beyond that. Beyond that discussion, okay, on that discussion, like everything bad that comes with the industry and everything industry. Okay. So
like I I never My father was actually, you know, he doesn't know much about what I do. So I had to like explain it to him. We were driving one day and
I was I showed him my newest track and he's listening to it. He said what you do all the backing tracks with your voice.
Listen, he's like, this is pretty good. Oh, he likes it. He likes it. Oh, so he's like, Is this why you want to go? This is why you spent all that money. No, but he never knew about my old life. Oh, right. So he's kept that stuff off the radar. So they never knew I had a different name. Oh, what did you go by? I can't tell. You know, that's close viewers. The viewers need to know.
I'll figure it out and posted later. You can't You can't.
But he never knew about that. I explained it to him. I'm like, Father, you call your father Father.
I call them bah, bah, bah,
bah, bah. You never knew what I went through. Hmm. I told him I used to perform at clubs. I used to be with wrong group of people. And he's like, really?
He was shocked. He was like, Really? Really, I was deep into the music game. And
so he then he started appreciating cuz I always hid it from my parents. You know, my uncle's my brothers and everything we brothers must have known. The younger ones. Yeah. The one the older ones in the older ones didn't know how many brothers do you have? How many siblings in total? Here we go again.
There's Old Town in gwelf. Street. And hamdulillah. I have eight brothers and two sisters. So we're 11 altogether?
football team mate. That's our football sports. actly. Exactly.
So when I explained it to him, he started appreciating. At one point he's like, dude, you actually do this for a living? Yeah, you didn't get the concept of going around performing it? Is it? I mean, it is quite strange. In that sense, especially when you explain that you're doing it all with your mouth? That, you know, you're not even, you don't even know how to play an instrument. Really, you know, you're just kind of doing it on your own. But so explain to me now, what was it like when you got the call?
You know, it's call I'm talking about?
You know, you know, I know the call, you know, the call, I felt like a relief. It was a sense of relief. What was the call fulfill people in Google don't know?
Are we talking about the same call, I will not use it as a relief. So you must think of something. What did you think I was talking about? I'm sorry, I'm thinking like the call to the straight path to go. No, no, no, I don't mean that call what call you talking about when I called you to help with the film? Come on, catch up with me now, which by the way, was the call to the straight path. So just to give you some insight, people who don't know, I was I was making my first film tug of war. And I was adamant about not using musical instruments in the backing of the film and the soundtrack of the film. And so my director at the time a friend of both of our mutual friend a man, yes, man, I
asked him, I said, You know, I need to find someone who can make the background sound or the music for it. And he was kind of like, you know, okay, you know, how's that even possible? Yeah, no, well, he kind of understood how it was possible, but he just didn't know how much of it could be done. And so I told him, I said, find me someone you know, and he's like, I know this guy in gwelf. He's, you know,
I was gonna make a joke, but I won't make the joke. Go ahead. No, no, I got thick skin. Oh, no, I didn't have the joke. Ready? That was oh, I would have said it. But I didn't actually have the joke ready? So but he told me that no, there was another guy you were working with at the time, Harry Wright who was I guess the Sound producer kind of what was he he was more of a engineer like an engineer, right. So he mentioned that Harry was going to be doing most of it and then obviously, he brought you on board and and so how was that call? Like when you found out that the world famous? Mashallah,
Brother, brother. I don't know how much hammer Yeah, he was calling him oromia Allah Allahu Akbar, he was calling upon you, the the brother in the slums of wealth to come to the straight path. Please, Brother, come leave that hommy music behind. Come and help us do something. Hello, suppose Mr. lightsome hana. So I always knew about you. When I was in university. I used to you know, I knew about you used to be that.
You came and actually bought your album. Allahu Akbar, right. I bought your album, I went through it. And that was probably the first time I've ever bought and bought an album. Nice because I used to like rip music off online. I remember you you only pay 10 shillings. Yeah, that's so Canadian. I was in the studio with Harry. And we were doing our thing, like the usual every night. So he was your engineer when you're making music? Basically. Yeah. You're working with him in that sense. I was. Yeah, I was working with him. I would make the sounds and he would produce it, put it all together. Okay. And at that time, I didn't know how to use like how to put things together like
that. I used to make beats with another software but putting sounds and the vocals over the beats. I didn't know how to do that. So we were in there producing stuff for alarm music. And
oh man, I just I'll
I was in the middle of recording a verse a very dirty verse of stuff. And after that,
actually, I did record a stuff a lot. I did record it. And then he was like, you know, I have this friend who's making a film.
But it was our mutual friend Manny. Yeah. And Manny was our video guy. He used to do music videos for us. And at the same time, apparently, he was doing videos for us. At the same time. So many was that bridge. He was like, there's this guy that's making a movie. He's starring in it. He wrote the movie. He wrote the film. And he doesn't want music in it. Hmm. He was weird guy. Can you very weird guy. Can you do vocals in the background? And I told him Yeah, sure. After we're done this first
record of the verse, and then I'm like, Okay, show me that that film that you're talking about? comes up. Oh, so yeah, the actual film had it. Okay. Okay. With no music or anything. Okay, so it's just naked.
Basically, yeah. So I started watching it. Tug of War comes up. You know, you come on if you
calling. I was talking my smack. Talking is smack like, Oh, that's Boehner. What he's an actor. No. Yeah. So we keep watching the film with no music whatsoever. No, Foley, nothing. Like, whoa.
This doesn't make sense. Like, there needs to be music, but this guy doesn't want to use music. Okay, what should we do? So we put up, put together some sounds, right? vocal sounds, and we sent it back to you. Mm hmm. And from what Manny told me, he's like, Oh, my God. Oh, my God bone. Oh, by the way, bone was, Oh, my God, this is amazing.
This is what he told you amazing. Is this what they told you? Okay, that's not what happened. That's actually I'll be honest. So what really happened was, he sent the sounds back to me. And I actually remember, I was listening to it in my car. And I had it like, plugged into the, you know, like the car speakers. And I was like, wow, like, this is dope. Because I also didn't really know how to do it. Like, I didn't really have an idea. I said, Okay, I don't want to use instruments fine. But how do you score an entire film without interviews? Like, it's very, very difficult to do try watching a movie without any Yeah, without any sound or like, you know, dry wood, it's extremely dry. And a lot
of the emotion in fact, in film is conveyed through music. So I found it really deep. But then when I heard that, and you guys kind of understood the emotions of the scenes, right? You understood the the points of what I was trying to get across. And I was like, Alright, this can actually work. You know, and I was really confident, then I told man, yeah, I was like, yo, get these guys to make like, 100 of these. And let's just milk them out. And the funny thing is, I literally, I think, from that sound bank, how much over sounds or tracks that you made, I used it for, like other projects, I use stuff for, like, I'll just spice it, I'll just take it and just use it for everything cuz it was
it was that good. And a lot of people, you know, complimented me on the film and said, you know, wow, you know, the the the the music, which was not music, in that sense, was really good, it was really, you know, really conveyed the message, which I think was also a big starting point for even that notion that you can do something well, you can do something professional, without maybe compromising certain principles. Now, this is not to say, instruments are how long or how long, this is not my opinion, to give their many opinions on that, right. But this is where I was focusing my opinion towards I was leaning towards not using instruments to be on the safe side. And because of
that, you know, I felt limited, but you know, you were able to come through and help with that. So when you made the film, what were you expecting? Like, if I didn't exist? Well, if I tell you this, I just put my trust in Allah, you serious? Like, I don't need an entire film. And you're like, No, I'm not using musical instruments. What were you going to use? I was going to use a law that said, a lot, a lot. Because I knew that look, I had a good intention. I was trying to do something which I felt was very powerful trying to convey this story about these young Muslim youth who are going astray. And I, I'm a firm believer that most of my life, it's not anything that like, you know, I
have doubted because it's happened so many times now that like when I put my foot down, and I say I'm gonna do this, you pray so hard on you, and and you make an intention. You come to a lot of luck comes running to you. panela You know, like, way things worked out. It's happened to me over and over again. So I don't even worry, like, you know, oh, yeah, okay, even even me pitching the idea to Manny, we made a film for like, 10 grand, even that didn't make sense. Like, nothing until that point made sense. Right. So then, like, we've already shot it, and I'm like, that was impossible to do. Now we're gonna get music. That's not music. No, oh, yeah, that's fine. Right, right. Right.
Like I have this special Bank of like, you know, just dream wishes. You know, I have this Genie I can rub and he can come out and do all these crazy things for him. Right. So now, just going back to this point.
When you now were given this opportunity to score the film
And you were now using your skill sets in a way that perhaps you hadn't exercised before. What did how did that make you feel? realizing that your talents could be utilized in a different way and that's the thing so Pinilla when that call to call. Okay, it was it was the call, you know, like kawhi shot in game. game seven. That was the shot. This was the call when we spoke that day. You basically because I never knew that I could use my talent for, you know, to do good, huh? I never knew that your story can be used for alimony. No, but it's just look, I'll be real with you. Although I was making bad content, like horrible.
Deep down, I felt guilty. I was like, Man, this is not me. I'm not, you know, I don't go to the clubs and but I also found very strange because like you the way you the way you described to me is that you were making like club music basically, basically. But you weren't even a guy who went to clubs. No, it just seemed ironic. I was like, why are you even like, Look, I had my janelia days. Right, right. But I was like, Man, this is not good. Like I always knew this was not good. Right? Right. And the songs were it was not me. I felt fake. Hmm. You know, I was. I was very like, lost man. I have this talent of hamdulillah. But, you know, so you basically opened my mind up you you
told me what? You can still use your music, your your voice to do music. I mean, you remember that conversation? I do. I do. It was right before I went to it was right before I flew to London and get married. Oh, that couple of days. You were married at that time? No. Oh, you were engaged. I was engaged. Yeah. So. So when you told me you can use your voice? Hmm. I like the sheets, you serious machines?
And then you're like, Nah, you can still you know, you could still do you, but just spread positivity. Like, really? You could do that. Okay, so we started working together. And we produce a couple of what was the what was the first what was the first song we did?
The first one that I wrote real love. Was it real love real lover blessed one of those. So I would send you I can't write. I can't write lyrics because your life depended on it. He went to golf. So because I went to go Yeah, sure. Yeah.
That's the goal of education. That's the world public school education system, unfortunately. So they've left their youth. But see, so Pinilla like everybody has their different talents, but everybody excels in, you know, a certain Avenue. For me it sounds you know, composition, production, and all right, right. But writing, Bro, I sat down, tried to write lyrics of my own my own and I hate it. Man, I can't even do this. So do you want to tell them what you send me? What do I What do I receive? When when I when I scoop? the inside scoop. Now this is we're going all in? So what do you send me? Okay, so
the first step
towards producing for me is creating the sounds first. I don't go with the lyrics first. I if I'm feeling a certain way, like if I want to make a somber type of sound, you know I make I just basically feel it out if it's a sad or a happy song. Right? I would just it depends on my on my mood. So I go on the mic. And I'll do a I'll do it. I'll do what I can say Say for example, I want like a sad Okay, I'll make the before you
know Please stop. See everybody excels in what everyone has a skill set you right you don't have a voice I'm sorry. I do have a voice you do have a voice. My voice gin is the only one who liked my voice if I was to sing my only audience would be gin. My voice is horrible. So I would do something like so a sad sad song. Okay.
No, no NASA is Oh, Nina Judy's Alma Tara told Whoa. So he's basically singing a made up language is gibberish gibberish. It sounds funnier than that. When he sends it to me. It's like this. Damn Izumi Dima Zuma Zuma zingbot Zonda.
Ganga is this guy saying I'm actually considering releasing my machines before they were complete on the door? They were actually machines, people will not be excited by that. It would be actually you know, you know, it's, you know, it's funny, we have a really weird working relationship because he sends me that and I almost understand what he's trying to say. Although he's saying nothing. He's literally not even saying a single English word he deciphers it is a it's like a code. So when when I remember rise up, gentlemen, no, no, no, no.
He says I'm looking back my whole life.
I think he's sending me this zine. And I'm like, what does this rise up? You know, it's like, it's like really solving a children's puzzle really is like a game of charades. And I'm like, What does he really want to say? But it's funny that when you send me that I, I get like, an inspiration from like, the tone, the backing. Exactly. And it really is like a deciphering. Exactly. And, you know, it's funny because, like, the greatest painters and sculptors of you know, of the past and some they would always say, like, people would ask them like, how do you make you know, the statue? I forget who was a famous person, how do you make the statue and they in the, the artist said that, I just
carve out everything that isn't there, that I carve out everything that isn't the statue. Right? So in his eyes, the statue is inside this brick or this big, you know, piece of
wood or statues inside of?
What do you mean? Like a marble? sculpture? Yeah, marble, whatever it is. Okay. Okay, so it's a stone. Yeah. Thanks for helping me out there. Appreciate it. Let's go. There you go. Absolutely. You take this big stone, and he carves out everything that isn't the statue. Wow. Right. So he sees it in reverse. So when you send it to me, I almost see it. Like, you're sending me something that's already there. And I'm just just trying to help you make sense of what it actually is, basically. So it's like, even though you're not seeing words, you're you're saying something? It'd be harder, actually. And I think maybe there's only one tracker so that I've just written on my own without
like, and then I made reality for it. Yeah, I've done it for two of my tracks. Somebody would send me lyrics and they'd be like, Hey, could you could you you know, make a track out of this?
That's kind of rude bro. Yeah, sorry. In the middle of a podcast this guy's people listening wouldn't know we were I was typing. Why would you even MIT? Why would you mention about these cameras? This is this. Oh, who put these cameras here?
What is going on? RCMP who set this up, bro?
How did you? How did you guys get here? Did you? This is anyway. I'm just texting my soul. I wonder where I am. That's fine. I forgive you. for forgiveness, I still forgive you May Allah forgive me. I mean, I'm, I'm so I've done songs where the lyrics were are already there. And I have to try to add the motions just like how I did for your movie. Right? I would watch it and I feel a certain way and I would make a sound for it. So I've done that. And so Pamela, those were like one of the best songs that have you know, I'm saying, right, so it was really it, I can do both. I can, you know, make the gibberish first and then have the words put in or the opposite way. So let's I want to we're gonna
wrap up pretty soon, inshallah. But I wanted to focus now on the future of your genre and what it is you're focused on. We talked a lot, we talked about this kind of intimately, sometimes about, you know, the problems with like Muslim entertainment, or like machines or whatever. And there are a lot of problems, I think it is mainly sustainability, right? Like, how do you actually make a living off of something when you're just most of the times waiting on organizations to call you and ask you to come and perform right? Sometimes it's really hot, sometimes you just come out, you have, you know, some type of virality or something that kind of gets your word out, people want to invite you. But
other times, there's a lot of self promoting and marketing that you have to do. I get a lot of messages from like, sometimes young artists who messaged me and like I had a guy, maybe yesterday, the day before, I think I showed you the message where he's like, you know, brother, I want to, I want to feature you on a song that I want to do. And I just listened to it. I'm like, I'm not even feeling it. Like, I don't even I wouldn't do this with you. It's not good. It's not good art. You know? Like, but I'm being honest, like, so where do you find yourself? Because I'm sure, you know, you look to the future, you look towards the future of this industry. How do you see it unfolding?
You're right. It's very, I mean, I don't even consider it an industry. You know, it's, it's a bunch of creative guys trying to make it you know, and and the whole machine scene. There's not many of us, you know, and
it's difficult. Sustainability wise, it's very difficult because, you know, you have to rely on performances, and you have a family to feed. Do you do this full time? Because you need to get your What's that? It's like the creative itch. You know, you need to get it out there. And you you have to promote it's a lot of work. A lot of people think that it's just easy, I can just become an artist. Hey, you don't know it's it's not it's not that easy. It's actually hard. But first and foremost, and ever since I quit my job, I just rely on and I remember that when you you because you had an
Job like a nine to five, and you were doing the machines on the side. And I remember you were like you hated your job. I forget what it was you worked in some like door factory or something? I don't know. No, it was, um, it was a stair manufacturing company yet equally as boring. Yeah, whatever it was, I would do all the marketing for them, you know, I would manage sales and, and everything. But
that was like a leap of faith. You know, I I put my trust in Allah. Because my wife was like, I you don't like this position? Why are you there? Like, cuz I don't have any other job. I like I've been applying, you know, and I live in gwelf. Hmm, they're not another bad thing. All the marketing jobs are I mean, no, I didn't mean like that. Anyone from wealth? I apologize. I don't know why I keep insulting growth. It just comes down naturally, all the marketing opportunities are in Toronto, downtown Toronto. Right. Right. Right. Right. So, you know, I just put my trust in a lot, I quit my job. And at the time, I was doing Uber, right. I was like, You know what, I can quit my job. And I'm
just going to do Uber to make ends meet basically to, to, to provide for my family. And then the Nasheed stuff can, you know, fill in the blanks can fill in the blanks, and Alhamdulillah like, I figured out ways to like to have my own business. Right? So you can't do this full time. You cannot be an artist full time. You have to have something on the side because you only really perform like what Friday Saturday Sunday, exactly like three days out of the week, if you're lucky if you're if you're lucky. So one month, a couple of months, you might not even have a performance or you know, or any type of gig. And you really have to have something like a bread and butter. You have to have
a main source of income if you have a family or even if you don't have a family right you have to make money to live in this. It's everything is expensive. You know, Canada is considered as the second most unlivable city or unaffordable. Really. It's really expensive. Okay, I didn't know that rent bills. I should move. Where? Africa? Probably Let's go. Wish me luck. I'm with you, bro. Let's go. Not even just like just Africa in general, not even one country just the entire place. We'll just go there.
Back home Africa.
Stay tuned. Stay tuned. Back home. So what advice would you have to up and coming? writers singers, people who will and don't tell me that cheesy answer you gave me on that. What was that other podcast you're on? And you're like, we need more moslem ik creators, bro. What do you think?
How do we as a community foster talent and create a sustainability for artists moving forward? Do you know how you mentioned? You know, the arts are not really encouraged in some families? Well, I want to expand on that. There are a lot of Muslim creatives out there, like amazing artists, whether it's singing, writing, whatever it is, I'm calling out to those people. Also, this is the Tafseer of that answer you gave last time, which nobody liked. Okay, because all the animals were like, Yeah, what now everybody wants to be an artist, even though even though they have no, no creativity inside. Right? Right. Right. So what I meant was there are a lot of creativity just going to waste.
They're not using it. So I call upon all those young artists that are talented, because anybody thinks that so the ones who are not talented, stay home stay. Okay, but the ones who are to come on board, okay, no, you just offended them. I just want them to be clear on that offense. But what I'm saying is I don't want art to go to waste because art is so powerful. It's you can propagate with with art art is medias deep. Who told you that? That's deep? That's a deep line. Yeah. Like, I was thinking about it, you know what I'm saying? And,
like, copied my speech to him verbatim. That's what I told him. I told him all artists propaganda is good to go. It is probably, but you can use it for something good or something evil. Yeah, of course, it is. propaganda. Art is propaganda. Right? Yeah. So I encourage artists that are talent, like talented artists, to bring to keep working hard, and try to get their creativity out there. So what if you're not talented? What do you do in that sense, but you still need an artist? Well, you're not an artist. You're not creative.
So creativity is just by talent alone. No, no, no. If somebody it look if there are creative people, right? Hmm. But not everybody has artistic creativity. You can be creative in public speaking, you can create an accounting. Yeah, I'm so creative and accounting, I work for the mafia. I
get you in nice so you can hide money away. I know lawyers that are amazing. That's their creative, that's their, that's their passion. That's okay. We're talking about art, specifically art specifically, whether it's visual poetry, the whole range of art. So because I want you to be clear on this. So what
I'm seeing from your experience everything you've learned so far, because you keep saying this thing of all, you know, yeah, I'm calling all the artists calling all the all we're gonna have a whole big Juma together. Kumbaya, Kumbaya Juma? Um, what is what actual advice would you have for someone who either is talented, not talented, whatever, that now wants to perhaps pursue art as a full time profession? Because I'll tell you what happens to me. People tell me, brother, I want to be a writer. And I tell them, okay, Are you finished school? Are you in school? And they're like, yeah, you know what I'm thinking about? I have a young guy I was speaking with in the States. And he's
telling me that he kind of thinking about leaving school to pursue art full time. And I'm like, Ah, no, that's a big No, no, that Yeah, don't do that. That's a bad you have to have a backup. You can't just rely on that go against what you said about telecoil. And I'd Well, it worked for me, I figured out a business model. Right, which I used to say that you tied your camel that's going to school his school, I was trying to set you up autonomy value, but you didn't know. What I'm saying is?
First of all, there are a lot of insecurities within artists. Right? I'm insecure. We're probably the most insecure people artists. Speak for yourself. And no, no, I'm serious. I had I have songs that I'm just I just don't want to release it because I don't know. Maybe this maybe that. No, trust in yourself. Okay, so trust in yourself. trust in yourself. Believe in yourself. And also, same thing, okay.
Are you counting? Yeah, I'm counting. What do you accounting for? Well, I mean, I always said give advice to the youth or to anyone who's out there. And you just said the same advice in two different like, you know, just like syllables. Have you counting though? No, no, because I want to like, give me three good piece of advice. So believe in yourself. Yeah. What else would you say you have to work? You have to work on a lot. Okay. Seriously, that is the most important thing. I couldn't stress that more. And what was what another piece last piece of advice? What would you tell you, a young person who messaged you on on it? Whatever it says, Hey, yes, I want to be like you. What
would you tell them? I would tell them stop talking and do it. Just do it. Because a lot of people they just, they they're all talk. I want to do this. Oh, I want to do this. I want to talk is cheap, huh? You have to just go and do it. If you look.
A lot of artists, right? messaged me. Same thing. I want to work with you. I want to do this. What have you done? so far? Nothing. You haven't released a video. You haven't recorded. This is not easy stuff. You can't just Oh, and that's what I was gonna feature me. And then I'm going to become big. No. Let me see your hustle.
You have to go and do some work. You got to put in that work. If you're not putting in work, how's that? You know what I'm saying? Like, how am I going to help you if you don't help yourself? Hmm. Right. So I tell them, go and do something. Don't just talk, be action oriented. Alright. That's my, I would add one thing to your list, which is important as well, which is insincerity. I think there's a lot of people out there who are artists for the wrong reasons. Especially when you venture into the realm of Islamic art. You know, a lot of panels Allah has to be involved in this equation. You can't be a Muslim artist, and just be an artist. You have to be a Muslim before and artists I
should say I have a principal.
Whatever you release, let it benefit someone.
Okay, I mean, it's, you could have had a better principal than that. No, seriously. Okay. Any song I release? Even the hot army stuff could benefit someone. I mean, that's the kind of principle No, no, no, no, no, like, benefit someone in in a positive sense. Obviously. Not a negative sense. Clarify we have some hatami people maybe that are listening. And I'm not pointing at you specifically. I'm just saying people in general could be listening and could be wondering, you know, like, whatever I release, I have a reality check. I checked myself there's like a list. Is this going to benefit someone? Is it going to help someone? Because at the end of the day, what are we doing it for? If
we're doing it for our own enjoyment? Right? I mean, for our own ego for us, you know, that's not gonna take you very far. No, you have to always think is how can I help people? I'm using my art to help people and I truly believe that Why? Because I see the messages coming in. I see the people who are suffering with mental health telling me I actually you You make me feel better huh? Your songs have good message and it makes me feel better. I'm gonna lie I'd make people smile when I'm on stage. I'm making people smile so not a lot.
Listen If he's not gonna look around for your time
You know, this was our first episode but inshallah I would love to have you again shall party because I don't know many other people. So I probably just have to reuse some guests sometimes. Yeah, we have an ability here you know the next one if you want. Yeah, I'll get you people and show you give me people as well inshallah.
How can people find out more about your work? Where can they find you? How can they find out about your stuff you just Google Ileana smell and there we are. Spell it for them. How do you spell EDS? ILYA s ma? Oh yeah, so people that are just listening he's not actually Chinese. His mouth you think is like a Chinese like a Chinese Emperor right? Or what was that mouse a tongue mouse? I mean you and I learned something weird about you yesterday you speak Cantonese Mandarin man. I don't look I don't speak it. But I just when I went to China, I tried to learn as much as possible. You just blend it in like they didn't even think twice. Like, who is this dark Chinaman here now Shama?
Shama? minzu? Will you just call me watch? Yeah.
I hope there's no one that can translate that into swear words. I hope you didn't just swear on my point. I actually was learning Chinese.
Let's just say life happened. I tried to learn Arabic life happened. So I mean, I'm good. I'm good with languages I can pronounce Well, I can catch on to it quickly, but it's just the time well, you need to be immersed in it. You have to put in the time and yeah, this is a big advice for myself. First and foremost. If you want to do something put in the time a law. Okay, anyways, Kamala Harris thank you very much for your time. Hello. And how can people you never answer my question how can people get a hold of you search ya smell on what on YouTube? Instagram, Twitter, website ilias gmail.com on YouTube just right in the smile. I LYS ma Oh, okay. And you know, all my videos come
up. Yeah. And yes, enjoy an album as well. I have an album It's on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify. tweezer. Whatever. tweezers. I think we is that the young people pleaser Weezer. I don't know where the kids are tweezer
boogers. It could be anything for all I know. Anyways, I can look at it. Thank you very much. For next time somebody coming home to lie. Oh boy, cats.