Song Exploder – Mustafa


“Air Forces”

Mustafa is a singer, songwriter, and poet from Toronto. He first gained national recognition in Canada for his poetry, and in 2016, he served on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Youth Advisory Council. Later, as a songwriter he contributed to the Grammy award-winning album Starboy by The Weeknd, and he’s written songs for Usher, Camila Cabello, and others. In May 2021, he released his own debut album, called When Smoke Rises, inspired by his experiences losing friends to inner-city violence. His album has been critically acclaimed, and was shortlisted for the Polaris Prize. I spoke to Mustafa about his song “Air Forces,” a track he made with his longtime collaborator, Grammy-winning producer Frank Dukes, plus Swedish artist Simon On The Moon, and Jamie xx.

You can buy or stream “Air Forces” here.



For a transcript of this episode, click here.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

Regent Park, neighborhood
Remember Me, Toronto – short film
“The Age-Set” – Dinka people of Abyei
Mickey Newbury
Puffy L’Z
Nubia





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