It’s hard to believe that Mustafa—also known as Mustafa The Poet—is only 24-years-old. Although he’s deliberately low-key and has a minimal but sizeable presence online, the Toronto-raised artist has already collaborated with artists like The Weeknd, Drake and James Blake as well as having worked with brands like Valentino.
Famed for his soft-spoken nature and heartfelt writing, the up and coming singer has just released a new, heavily emotional single, ‘Air Forces’ co produced by Jamie XX and Frank Dukes – a follow-up to his debut single ‘Stay Alive’, which was released earlier this year.
The song was pieced together using samples of a Sudanese chant, all while “existing within the framework of contemporary Western music”, explains the official press release. The result is what Mustafa refers to as “inner city folk music”.
If you’re wondering ‘who is Mustafa the Poet’… look no further.
He was born Muslim to Sudanese parents.
At age 12, he performed an original spoken word piece entitled ‘A Single Rose’, at Nelson Mandela Park Public school in Toronto. The video was viewed more than 35,000 times.
In 2013, he opened for Jhene Aiko at Manifesto’s Live concert.
Mustafa the Poet co-wrote and sang on ‘Attention’, The Weeknd 2016’s hit from his album Grammy award-winning album ‘Starboy’.
He became an international figure, better known as Mustafa the Poet, in 2019 when he released ‘Remember Me, Toronto’, a short film where he tapped Drake to speak about gun violence.
Mustafa collaborated with Valentino on the Italian house’s FW19/20 runway collection after he opened a DM from the brand that he had initially ignored. Mustafa’s poetry was embroidered on 25 pieces in the collection, and he also starred in the brand’s most recent campaign. Alongside celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Adut Akech, Mustafa the poet has agreed to waive his fees, with the house donating one million euros to the Lazzaro Spallanzani Hospital in Rome to help with its COVID-19 relief efforts.
He recently collaborated with James Blake on the track ‘Come Back’, which pays tribute to his late friend and rapper Smoke Dawg.