Lyrical Militant (Nik Thavisone)
Music can be used for good and for bad - It's a tool and like any tool (even a hammer) it can be used to either build or to destroy.
—Lyrical Militant, Hip hop artist
Lyrical Militant aka Omar
Zulfi is launching his first commercial album Prelude to Revolution tonight at Rasoi on Corydon at 10:00 p.m.
Omar was born and raised in Thompson. His parents immigrated to Canada from Pakistan. Now this Muslim hip hop artist lives right here in Winnipeg. He's been making a name for himself on the local scene and SCENE wanted to know about this thoughtful up and comer.
Nadia Kidwai caught up with him while he was getting ready for his launch party.
Some Muslims may find you a bit controversial; For instance some believe that music is frowned upon in Islam, even forbidden, there is swearing on your tracks, alcohol will be served at your launch etc. How do you reconcile your faith with the rap persona?
It's funny, some Muslims would find me controversial but some non-Muslims would find me just as controversial. (I can't make everyone happy.) I struggle with temptation and things that are considered forbidden in Islam because growing up, it's all around you. But I am a believer in my faith, and I try to do the best I can. At the end of the day, God is my only judge.
Music can be used for good and for bad- It's a tool, and like any tool (even a hammer) it can be used to either build or to destroy.
What do your parents think about all this?
My mother was actually the first and only one to truly support me following my dream when I was younger. My father was more of a battle, but he fully supports me now. He originally didn't like it, but that's more because, like most Pakistani parents, he insisted I go into science, engineering, medicine or law - the "safe" routes. But when he realized music was really my whole existence and what I was truly happy doing, he supported it. I don't let him listen to all my music though! He wouldn't like some of it. Hahaha.
Tell me about why a portion of your album sales are going towards the Canadian Cancer society?
The album is being released to the public on January 20, 2012. My mother actually passed away from Leukemia on January 20 four years ago. This whole project is dedicated to her. My mother was the first person to support me fully with the whole music thing. And she was a HUGE influence in my life growing up. So I think it's only right to donate a portion of album sales to the Cancer Society in her name. She never got to see me do any of this stuff, but it's all thanks to her.
What inspired your album Prelude to Revolution?
Prelude is about my take on a lot of different aspects of life today. Sometimes it just feels as if everything in the world, literally everything, is at a tipping point - and the only solution is
revolution. Not necessarily violent revolution, but serious change.
Have a listen to Lyrical Militant performing Never Give Up.