Photo: Grey Sorrenti

Mustafa – Imaan

Sudanese-Canadian singer Mutafa’s latest single “Imaan” incorporates both American Folk and Sudanese influences in its instrumentation and lyrics and features backing vocals from Swedish singer Snoh Aalegra. “Imaan,” which translates to faith in Arabic, explores how culture and God can stand in the way of love while trying to find a way to protect it. The track is the second single off his upcoming album set to be released later this year.  

In the press release for the single, Mustafa shares that, “‘Imaan’ is a love song between two people in search of God and purpose. It’s about longing for all that we don’t have evidence of. Two Muslims journeying through their love of borderless Western ideology and how it contradicts with the modesty & devotion in which they were raised.” 

Lyrics like “You say praying isn’t easy / And all the ways you need me are from God / And all the ways you reach him are flawed / I know our families will never find their way to the same living room / All of these bloodlines, all of these costumes” showcases that contradiction and the struggle. 

“‘Imaan’ sonically represents this tussle too,” Mustafa continues. “The Sudanese strings and Egyptian oud woven into the bed American folk chords and drums. This tapestry, this collision is the song, is the romance, is the person Mustafa is. How it’s never enough, or too much. The song sits in the grey that people of faith are afraid to live in, but identify with. It’s about the way faith swings beneath Mustafa and Imaan like a rope. How cultural tension and bias and racism can inform and dismember romance.”

Along with the release of the single, Mustafa also released the self-directed music video to go along with the track. The video stars Dutch model Imaan Hammam and includes creative direction from Ramy Youssef & co-direction from Nabil Elderkin. The video includes juxtaposing images of Hammam praying, smoking, wearing revealing clothing, and putting on her hijab, commenting on the lifetime of push and pull between their faith and Western ideology. 

“Imaan” is now available across all streaming platforms.