Sources of inspiration #3 Sami Yusuf
Sami Yusuf, a British singer/songwriter with Azerbaijani roots, creates incredibly peaceful, calming music, perfect for meditation, prayer, or other forms of pensive spiritual reflection. Oh my gooooodness, I love this man’s voice so much. It is so gentle, tender, and delicate–you can’t help but feel better after listening to one of his songs. He combines soft melodies and tranquil words with gentle, unimposing strings and rhythmic drumbeats. And I love how he dips into his Azerbaijani culture and puts elements of it into his songs. One of my favorite songs of his is “Sari Gelin”, a traditional song of the Caucasus. The title in Azerbaijani (which happens to be incredibly similar to Turkish, so much so that I’m able to understand a good portion without difficulty) translates to “Yellow [fair-haired] bride”, and is a sweet love song tinged with sorrow. (He sings many of his songs in English, in renditions that blend Middle Eastern themes with an undertone that feels vaguely Celtic — perhaps influence from his British upbringing?) All in all, he produces very beautiful songs, simply and truly transcendent.
Some of his other songs