Sulekha Ali: Queen of Lyrics redefining
The Digital Journal
July 19, 2012
Toronto- Canada’s latest singing sensation is not only attracting the attention of music lovers from coast to coast but is quickly building a solid fan base across the continents.
The young, Somalia –born, Ottawa based Sulekha Ali, a recording artist on a lyrical journey to global greatness, continues to mesmerize her fans with new hit singles including Hooyo and Time and Time etc.
Sulekha arrived in Canada at the tender age of 4 years after her family fled the protracted civil conflict in Somalia. Her family settled in the Canadian Capital where she went to school and excelled all the way to University level graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA Hons) degree in Human Rights from Carleton University. Her choice of post-secondary studies has largely influenced her music, which is loaded with socially-conscious lyrics.
In an exclusive telephone interview with the Digital Journal’s Farid Omar, the multi-talented, highly philosophical, university-educated singer said that she made her entry into the recording industry a year ago in the most unlikely fashion. The defining moment came during a house Karaoke stint in the presence of a close friend.
“I hit the musical scene accidentally while watching an ex-factor episode with a friend. In a Karaoke stint that followed, I sang for my friend in the dark and I even felt shy doing so. Suddenly, I realized that my friend was crying. She was struck and dazzled by my natural voice. This is how I unwittingly discovered my inborn singing talent. It never occurred to me I could be that good and I felt that a divine destiny was guiding me into the realm of music.”
Upon graduation from University, the shy, poetically-inclined singer and songwriter found herself in an occupational limbo that many Canadian university graduates face today.
“With a university degree under my belt, I was naive to think that all doors would open automatically for me. Instead, I ended up in a 9-5 routine working out of a bank in an occupation that did not reflect my academic credentials” said Sulekha
Being an artistic person, Sulekha quickly turned to poetry as a starting point in her performing career.
“I started with poetry as an escape. Since I discovered my inner singing talent, music and poetry have become a form of therapy for me. I realized there was more to life than 9-5 and I immediately started writing songs. I write my songs from beginning to end” observed Sulekha.
In terms of genre, the stunningly beautiful artist is confident that she can take on a broad range of genres out there.
“I don’t want to limit or box myself into any specific one. I am open to any genres as long as they are soulful” said Sulekha.
For an aspiring young, Somali, Muslim performing artist, it is often difficult to gain acceptance from family, friends and community in general. But Sluekha’s case is markedly different as she is able to garner overwhelming support from all quarters.
“I find myself readily acceptable to all my circles and I am glad that people recognize authenticity in my work. I think the main reason is that I have entered the singing arena with good intentions. I am not just looking into advancing my personal career. I care a lot about those around me and I am totally driven into making a difference in the lives of others. People are supportive because they closely identify with my music.” stated Sulekha.
Sulekha is fully mindful that the recording industry is wrought with many challenges as well as opportunities. She says this depends on how the individual artist chooses to navigate their way into an industry often dominated by explicit images, lyrics and scenes.
“In this industry, I know that female artists are being pushed to make fast money. One of the buzz words in the industry is the degrading phrase ‘sex sells’ and we have seen girls falling into this trap. I want girls to know that they can reach the moon and make decent money as long as they maintain their integrity and dignity. There is certainly an opportunity in this industry and I strongly feel that one can tap into it in the most dignified manner.” said Sulekha.
Read the complete story at The Digital Journal