Every now and then an artist comes along that leaves an indelible print upon my consciousness.  Sometimes its sheer beauty, other times its the intensity of its substance, and then there's the sheer candidness of the artist who is truly him/herself while channeling something that is beyond the ego.  Idiosyncratic and genuine, and yet universal and ahead of one's time.

I met Rufuz in Berkeley, at the Starry Plough.  A true cross-cultural mashup, he was singing along with a group of musicians playing a barrage of stringed instruments.  I gave him a cigarette while standing outside in the crisp winter night.  He offered me a poem in trade for the smoke.  I expected something drunken and oversentimental, like an x-rated Hallmark card.  Instead he recited a poem from Rumi with such an explosiveness and conviction, I threw up a little bit in my mouth, quickly swallowing it, avoiding what Islam would have stoned me to death for, puking on a Sufi poet....

I asked him if he wouldn't mind stopping by my studio, if I could perhaps record him.  I had to promise cigarettes, more whisky and a couple 40's.  Here's the first installment:

1 comment:

  1. This guy could do a lot to bridge the anti-Arab sentiment. He has got mad style! He's like Father Guido Sarducci, Rumi & Saul Williams rolled into a vulgar haiku.... MOre!