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In this edition of our monthly playlist series, we’ve made a special attempt to go deeper and explore concepts of identity, resilience, freedom and finding confidence in ourselves and our search for truth.

In the selection of the songs for this Volume 5 playlist, we were inspired by these words of Abdu’l-Baha:

Truthfulness, uprightness and integrity are the attributes of the righteous and the hallmarks of the pure. Truthfulness is the goodliest of qualities as it comprehendeth all other virtues. A truthful person will be protected from all moral afflictions, will shrink from every evil deed, and be preserved from every wicked act, inasmuch as all vices and misdeeds are the very antithesis of truthfulness, and a truthful man will hold them all in utter abhorrence. – Abdu’l-Baha, from a tablet translated from the Persian.

So what makes these particular tunes songs of truth and resilience? Take a listen:

  • Hailing from Senegal, artist Youssou N’Dour encourages us not to follow blindly, to read between the lines and hold ourselves accountable in our search for truth, in his song Things Unspoken.
  • Uprising, by artists Gentleman and Ky-Mani Marley, is a song about a different kind of uprising, one driven by trust, honesty and unity.
  • The tune Brown Girl by New Zealand based artist Aaradhna speak to her experiences of racism and being placed in a box. In an interview about the song she shared “I’m not just the color of my skin, there’s more to me, there’s layers of me.”
  • In his latest release “The Fool” Ontario hip-hop artist Shad raps about “a radical kind of peace.” This song, which explores how fear, greed and pride become catalysts for racism, celebrates the power of collective resilience while explaining how we are all lost without love.  
  • Bahia is a beautiful lullaby-like tune, by Cloud9 featured artist Jamey Heath and Tara Ellis. A song about the first Baha’i community in South America—in a city called Bahia, Brazil—Jamey and Tara tell us the story of those who formed this community, and who did so under various strenuous circumstances through strength and resilience, soon enabling the rest of the Latin world to learn of Baha’u’llah’s uniting message.
  • An anthem for the Baha’i’s of Latin America, Oye Oye, sung and played by Colombian musicians Leonor Dely and Millero Congo, always uplifts and motivates hearts.
  • Since its release, the song Quiet has become an anthem for female empowerment. Written and composed by artist Milck, she sings about gaining self-confidence and finding her own voice.
  • A familiar tune for many, this classic song by Seals & Crofts, Summer Breeze, reminds us of the comfort and joys of summer.
  • Cookie Jar, by musician Jack Johnson, refers to the children’s rhyme where the blame is constantly passed around and no one takes accountability. The song conveys the illusions of society and how the media portrays it, closing with the words “we only receive what we demand, and if we want hell then hell is what we’ll have.”
  • Hip hop R&B artist Dej Loaf brings us Liberated, featuring soul singer Leon Bridges, an ode to liberation and finding confidence in your own skin.
  • The Mali outfit Songhoy Blues partner with U.K’s MC Elf Kid, uplifting their people in their tune Mali Nord. The song champions the strength of refugees, highlighting the stigmatized immigration experience and the search for a better life.
  • Straight from Arnhem Land, a remote Indigenous community in central Australia, Baker Boy’s sophomore single Marryuna features indigenous instruments and Baker Boy rapping with pride in his native language about the ceremonial dance of Marryuna, which is to dance with no shame, to freestyle for the sheer elation of dancing. This joyful and energetic tribute will jumpstart your soul and get your heart pumping!

Enjoy!!  

Please submit any song ideas or suggestions you may have to Shadi Toloui-Wallace at shadi@bahaiteachings.org. Happy listening!

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