Music for Activation
On Stephan Said's new album, 'difrent:' “the main theme is the total happiness with oneself, a self that is complete, inherently global, inherently the answer, the embodiment of world peace,“ says Stephan Said about his new album. A release party will take place on Manhattan's Lower East Side, on October 13th.
The 12 songs, produced by the award-winning Hal Willner and recorded together with exquisite, internationally acclaimed musicians, are anthems to global unity and love. The son of an Iraqi father and an Austrian mother, the Ohio born singer-songwriter and activist Said is known for his constant efforts to help build a more equal society. Throughout his career, music has always been his primary artistic form of both self-exploration and self-expression.
“I, as someone who was both All American, yet Iraqi, Christian and Muslim and with Jewish relatives from my mother’s side all in one body... it took me many years to comprehend my own self. Now I'm there. Now, I'm singing. My previous albums were about the need to get to the next world, where I could be free. On 'difrent:' I am free, I am in the next world.”
His process of creative and personal liberation has been a long and often painful struggle with his inner self. For a citizen with Arab heritage, living in post 9/11 America was - and far too often still is - a constant balancing act, an ongoing justification of what is commonly regarded as one’s identity. For a long time, Stephan performed under his mother’s maiden name, “Smith”, feeling that he was sacrificing his family name, Said, in order to be accepted by a system that otherwise would reject him. Now, he feels powerful enough to take a stand, and to be Stephan Said. On 'difrent:', he celebrates and shares his newly gained strength and autonomy.
Along with the album there's an internet-based broadcast platform for music for social change. Also named 'difrent:', its mission is to connect and evolve the consciousness of artists, activists and organizations worldwide via music and video releases.
For Stephan, who has supported the global justice movement and made the first major global antiwar statement after 9/11, “an activist is someone who acts on their beliefs. I have lived my life and led my entire career in the effort to help humankind make the shift, to achieve the dream that every generation has dreamt of but never achieved.”
With 'difrent:', Stephan Said has come one step closer to his dream.
The release party is on 10/13 at the Living Room in NYC.