12 September 2013

Liverpool poet Malik Al Nasir performs - Shock and Awe

By Colin Bailey

Liverpool poet and music producer Malik Al Nasir teamed up with some heavy hitters in the music world, to showcase his poetry and songs at this years debut Liverpool International Music Festival, over the August bank holiday in Sefton Park.

Malik’s work is reminiscent of his mentor and lifelong friend, the late great Gil Scott Heron, who mentored Malik ever since meeting him back stage at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool back in 1984.

Malik spent years touring with Gil and also had the great privilege to write a song for him before he died. Gil recorded the song called ‘Black & Blue’ which features on Malik & the OG’s as yet unreleased album, entitled “Rhythms of the Diaspora Vol 1.”

Malik’s repertoire with his band “The OG’s” features a tribute to Richie Havens, the black folk music legend, who opened Woodstock in 1969 with the song “ Freedom – motherless Child”. The song has it’s roots in slavery, where it was regarded as a “cadence of sorrow” by those who sang it as they toiled in the cotton fields of Virginia; hoping one day to be free. More recently, Havens version has been included in the soundtrack to Tarrantino’s award wining blockbuster feature film “Django.”

Malik described his own work, as “A quiet revolution” saying, “Poetry and music can be a force for good and revolution is nothing but change that should bring benefits. So when you combine revolution and poetry and set it to music, you can make people think how to make a change that is beneficial.”

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