Saturday, May 25, 2024

Lantana resident collaborates with Afghan artist on liberating music

A new song by a young Afghan man — co-written and co-produced by Lantana resident MJ Brickey — that released Friday “is an anthem for the world’s oppressed,” Brickey says.

With “No Rights to Breathe,” 22-year-old Ahmad Forest is standing up for his right to express himself freely through electronic music in a country where all public music is banned, according to Brickey’s blog. His recording studio has been destroyed into rubble.

“It felt like someone took everything I had,” Forest said. “I could not breathe comfortably.”

Forest said an American who fled Afghanistan introduced him to Brickey — who helps Afghans in dire situations — after the new regime beat his friend for wearing jeans. Forest created the music and then finished the song production with very little equipment and no headphones.

“I was afraid at first,” Forest said. “I am not afraid anymore. My music empowers me, and MJ Brickey has given me and others a voice.”

Forest said he created the track and sent it to Brickey. Then she came up with lyrics that described his feelings — she brought sensation and life.

“It gave me the feeling to stand and fight for my rights,” Forest said. “A feeling to be free — it sets me free.”

Brickey said Forest and his friends live in burning solidarity with others in diverse places worldwide, living oppressed.

“It was painful for me to be working with Ahmad and hear constant rapid gunfire in the background,” Brickey said. “These words are raw from the perspective of a westernized Afghani youth who has lost his expressive liberties to the Taliban.”

Forest said he stands with Afghan women also. Women were immediately removed from positions of power.

“Ahmad and I hope you find power in the song and share it to empower others,” Brickey said. “This song has a message, and we would appreciate if you help make sure that everyone gets it!”

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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