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.
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.
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:
The official blog where people can read all the interfaith delegations experiences is https://
The trip is also going to try to do live tweeting, instagram through these two hashtags- #rootcausesdel #