Lines – The Process

By August 4, 2015 August 5th, 2015 mixes

Lines: Music Inspired By Migration and Denizens. By Affad Shaikh and Shammy Dee. by Shammy Dee on Mixcloud

You can say God put this mix together.

Lines came about when Affad reached out to me about collaborating on a mix.  If I back up a bit, Affad and I are good friends from college.  (Go UCSD!)  Later this week, he will be leaving to Central America with an Interfaith group to learn stories about immigration from the local and indigenous people of the land.  Immigration is a hot topic right now, and I feel it will be a big topic for the 2016 US Presidential elections.  Affad has always been a supporter of my creative endeavors and is a subscriber to my email list where I send out monthly email blasts that always have new mixes in them.

Knowing I'm always doing a mix, he reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in helping him put a mixtape together with a theme around immigration.  He believes music can be a soundtrack to an experience and a tool for storytelling.  More importantly, music can be “the vehicle by which we construct the future we dream of.”  (I love that.)  I was totally down and excited to do this as a different way to use my DJ skills.

On we went.  He sent me a curated list of songs he has been listening to that reflect to him the ideas he has been reading and thinking about.

Affad email

I took his ideas and did my thing with it.  I was very intentional with my approach and organized this mix into a series of three acts.  I thought about the journey of migrating over to the US and what that would mean to get caught.  In each act, there are mini-beats dealing with an ebb and flow of emotion.  I believe any kind of journey where you have to uproot yourself to settle elsewhere will have a mix of emotions from sadness, to fear, to happiness, to hope.

My email

Fortunately, Affad loved what I did.  He had one more artist suggestion – The Peace Poets.  He thought they would add “elements of truth telling and hope seeking.”  After checking out their videos, I agreed with him.  But I felt that I wanted to look for something that directly spoke to the theme of this mix.  Digging around a bit, I found this video of a spoken word piece by one of their members, Frank Lopez.  It was exactly what I was looking for, a poetic way to address the overarching theme of this mix.  So I placed it over the opening Antibalas track and we both thought it worked well.

This process came about so fluid and so organically, we both feel you can hear it in the music.  Everything flowed so well, you can say God put this mix together.  We both sincerely hope you enjoy it.

Read Affad's take on it here.  It's a good read.  I love how he goes more in depth with his explanation of each act.

You can download this mix here.  [Warning for Parents:  I normally post kid-friendly (read: clean) mixes.  This particular mix does have explicit language.  I made a particular choice to not edit out what these artists have to say because lots of people choose to not edit themselves when they discuss the topic of immigration.]


A bit more about Affad and this trip:

This summer, Affad is going to be joining an Interfaith Root Causes Delegation to Honduras and Guatemala. He was interested in the factors that pushed over 60,000 unaccompanied children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala and tens of thousands more migrant families with young children to journey to the USA in 2014. As an interfaith advocate, Affad is interested in the role that communities of faith play in addressing this human migration and the resulting policies that the United States government institutes, especially those policies that imprison these migrant children without due process or rights. For Affad, spirituality is social justice, and this is an important aspect of being an American Muslim.
Our delegation will include persons from different parts of the USA. We will listen to and meet with grassroots and religious partners on the ground to more deeply understand the root causes of the migration, such as economic and free trade policies, narco-trafficking, US drug policy, US military aid in the region.  We will explore the paths of migration and the human rights impact of US-Mexican immigration and border enforcement policies. We will speak with people who have been deported from the US back to the region. We will visit and worship with faith communities and faith organizations who have been accompanying, serving and seeking solutions. The delegation will listen to the recommendations and proposals coming from the people of Central America.


The official blog where people can read all the interfaith delegations experiences is


The trip is also going to try to do live tweeting, instagram through these two hashtags- #rootcausesdel #im4humanintegrity

You can read his blog as i will be blogging every two days on my trip- www.affadshaikh.comAnd if you are so inclined, you can link up with Affad on Twitter @socalmoslem and Instagram is @affadshaikh



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