Muslim Artist/Activists Drea d’Nur and Rami Nashashibi bring their spirits together releasing a powerful project and debut album THIS LOVE THING.
Drea, Rami and Elijah of This Love Thing photographed by Mustafa Hussain
Buffalo’s Drea d’Nur, our beloved and celebrated artist who hails from the East side, has before our very eyes perfected her eloquent blend of gospel, soul and blues at countless venues. She has curated shows on some of the most renowned stages in the country for over two decades and has been recognized the world over as Buffalo’s soulful songbird.
Rami Nashashibi, a well-known and respected activist known as Chicago’s South Side community organizer, is founding director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) among his many change maker accolades.
However, individually noted as change and progress makers in their respective cities, together they connected by way of friends and appearances in activism and artist circles, to manifest a powerful debut album amidst the constant climate of global uncertainty and unrest. They call it THIS LOVE THING; the album that sounds the alarm for social justice, truth, understanding and the immeasurable realities of the “turbulent and triumphant expressions of love.”
THIS LOVE THING has a total of 9 memorable tracks with the first release being track #7 Mama Please. The release of the song was accompanied by a gripping video compiled of footage shot in both Louisville Kentucky and Buffalo.
The song is also dedicated to living activist, mother and former police officer Cariol Horne who was fired from the Buffalo police department and lost her pension for intervening in the chokehold of a handcuffed, unarmed man. Both song and video serve as a call-to-action to pass “Cariol’s Law” across the country, a proposal for legislation to have a mandatory statute on police bystander intervention and protection from retaliation.
During a recent NPR interview both artists acknowledge the high importance of the mother in Islamic culture. “…It’s kind of this idea that when you’re calling on your mother you are in many ways calling on Divine mercy,” said Rami. Drea continued “ …and for me there’s also no community building without the mother.”
The album debuted October 23 and features a strong group of Grammy nominated and award winning renowned artists. At its core, Drea serves as executive producer, arranger, lead vocalist, pianist and producer. Rami is executive producer, writer and guitarist, and Elijah Hooks is sound engineer (Mix, Master) and co-producer.
The album also includes super talents of Buffalo bass player Chuck Brown and drummer/percussionist Carl “Flute” Johnson as well as veteran artists and virtuoso Ronnie Malley on the Oud to the stunning strings scored by Rootstock Republic or the soaring gospel choruses from Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ’s I Sanctuary-Choir and the Reverend Dr. Otis Moss II .
The project includes guest appearances by artists either affiliated with or on the IMAN roster, including the poet Amir Sulaiman, hip hop artist Brother Ali, musician/educator Jecorey “1200” Arthur, singer MC Maimouna Youssef aka MuMu Fresh, emcee Qadir Lateef, spoken word artist Phenom, artist Amir Tubad Gray.It’s not surprising that THIS LOVE THING seamlessly transcends artist boundaries and listener expectations, wraps it’s arms around you cradling and comforting your woes and lifts you into hope, action and change.
Follow the project and Listen online at www.thislovething.com . -L.H.
Please Enjoy MAMA PLEASE -the video for the first single released off THIS LOVE THING debut Album