I sat down with my grandmother in the summer of 2020 to speak about what her life was like during the initial months of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the conversation Grandma Jeanne speaks about adjusting to not being able to socialize or see family, working through depression by staying active and how attitude and faith can help someone work through difficult circumstances such as the pandemic.
Living through the Covid-19 pandemic has been a serious trial for the majority of us. In this video my intent was to display precious moments of seeing my blood relatives and some close friends after having spent months away from them due to concerns with regards to the spread of Covid. I captured this video in the summer of 2020 which was about 4 months after news of the outbreak of Covid where normal life as we knew it changed requiring many of us to no longer work in person, for schooling to be done remotely and everyone freaking out about toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
One of the most difficult parts for me was not being able to be in close proximity to my parents, grandparents, and extended family due to fear of the spread of the Covid. From February 2020 until the spring of 2020 it seemed like information about Covid was not clear enough to feel comfortable visiting family or being close to family whether we wore a mask or not. So this video was shot right after going through this period of staying away from family and this period of fearfulness of this new disease which we know has been deadly especially within the elderly population.
I want to also add that my Grandmother Winona recently passed away at the age of 96. There are a number of clips in this video which show some of our last interactions with her. Thankful to God for her life and thankful to her for everything she has done for me and our family.
“KEEP YA HEAD HIGH AND ALWAYS KEEP THE FAITH TAKE A DEEP BREATH FOCUS AND MEDITATE DURING HARD TIMES PRAY FOR BETTER DAYS PUT LOVE IN THE WORLD DON’T SPREAD THE HATE”
These are words from my new song entitled “I’m Optimistic.” Like most of us I’m hoping for better days but also trying to see the good in these times that we are in now and make the best of today.
I wrote this song in 2020 and it’s mostly about striving to maintain a hopeful outlook on life. Of course navigating through the challenges and hardships of 2020 played a hand in me writing this song but I felt like the instrumental that I composed also inspired my writing.
Recently I’ve been reflecting on the idea that as a father and as a leader I really don’t have a choice but to be optimistic. My children, family and community need for me to maintain optimism. I hope this song serves as a means to uplift and inspire.
I added visuals to this song from an outing that the fam and I had outside of the city. The bright faces of children and spending time outdoors reenergizes me so I thought the video clips matched well with the music. Much love to my wife our children and their little cousins that were featured in this video.
I produced the instrumental for this song using my go to production software called REASON. The keys, baseline and melody were composed using sounds from Reason, and I played out the drums using DrumLab from Native Instruments.
If you are a parent I’m sure you have thought about letting your kids start a youtube channel since most children are consuming so much youtube these days. I have sat and watched a number of family videos from youtube with our children and this channel is sort of my reaction to what I’ve seen. I figure my children need to see that they can produce content as well and not just be consumers of everything that is being produced. I want my children to realized their gifts and talents so this channel is a way for me as a parent to push them to be creative. I am really trying to approach this channel thing with the idea that our children will have to learn to shoot video/photos, edit clips, compose music, and come up with creative content. I’m going to help them but I want for this to be an educational and artistic experience. Subscribe to the channel so you can follow our efforts!
In launching the channel we also uploaded our first video called the Abdullah Powell Kids Variety show. In this first episode our daughters Maryam and Ayah pretend that they have a restaurant with our son Muhammad as the customer. Later on in the video Muhammad and Maryam present short videos that they edited their selves and added voiceovers. Watch the video and click like to help more of the world have a chance to view it.
It’s a new year and in this trailer video I outline my intentions for music and video content in 2021. In sum the plan is to share instrumentals, songs, creative process videos, and lifestyle videos on a more regular basis. In addition to these types of content I’m hoping to add in a few interviews with some special guests as well.
Towards the end of summer 2020 I began to work on a logo for Abdullah Powell Productions. This was a big accomplishment for me as I have been producing music since 2001 and haven’t been able to get this done over all these years. In the process of working on a single logo we ended with three designs that I intend to use for different purposes. I worked very closely with graphic designer Ill Poetic through his company SoundRZN and I am very pleased with how it came out. Check out the video and hear more about our design process for coming up with my logo.
No Distractions is a song that I wrote this past summer of 2020. I remember thinking about all of news that was headlining at the time. George Floyd’s death, the protesting that was happening across the country in my on my own city, all the energy that was in the air around the presidential election and of course the news surrounding Covid. I felt like it was all so disturbing along with all of the random video’s and postings that you might see on social media. No distractions was my personal response to self as a reminder that most of this is out of your control so focus on what you can control and don’t get distracted.
On the song I say that “this is survival of the fittest.” There are a number of songs that use this line (probably most notably Mobb Deep) but I felt like these words were so true with all the trials that are upon all of humanity right now and the mental anguish that we are going through in 2020. We all have to do our best to take care of ourselves mentally, physically and spiritually to survive these times.
I produced the beat for this song using my go to production software called REASON this summer as well. The drums were chopped up from a James Brown track and once I mapped them out on my drum pads I was able to play out my own drum pattern. I came up with the chords and the bassline using sounds from Native Instruments.
Growing up in Columbus, Ohio there was this company called My Mama’s Sweet Potato Pie. They of course specialized in sweet potato pie and I remember that my mom would bring back a pie for us to eat every now and then. Ever since then I have loved Sweet Potato Pie.
My wife Nazeerah and I have been married for a number of years and I remember discovering her talents for baking sweet potato pie early in our marriage. You could say that I definitely hit the marriage jackpot!
Earlier this year I decided to finally film my wife in the process of making a pie. With it being the fall season I thought it would be a nice time to share this. Hope you enjoy this video of my wife making sweet potato pie with a little assistance from our eldest daughter Maryam.
Here is my latest song and music video called RELAX. I wrote this song as a reminder to myself to slow down and to not over stress about life.
At the end of the video I announce that I am finishing up a new album entitled “Relax.” Stay tuned for more news about the release date of my album! Special thanks to my wife and my eldest daughter Maryam who helped me film this video.
Take your time and Relax
Let it go just relax
When Your moving too fast
Slow down just relax
Pressure on your shoulder Can feel a boulder
It get’s heavier especially when your older
Gotta learn chill can’t always be a soldier
When stakes get Higher better keep your composure
Calculate every step before your actions
But remember God already knows what’s gonna happen
From the least to the greatest of transactions
So try not to be stressing but relax and
Know that we all gone die at some point in time
Take it all in stride and keep your spirits high
And when you need to cry don’t keep it bottled inside
It’s a sign that your wise if you can swallow your pride
And these are real words
Made dua then I wrote this in the last 3rd
Of the night I can hear the birds chirp
Alhamdulillah it’s time to pray Fajr
Relax Written by Abdullah Powell
Music Composition, Production & Song engineering by Abdullah Powell
This is a very special video about a very special person and her signature homemade biscuits! I have been enjoying my Grandmother’s cooking all of my life and there are particular items in her cook book that seem to not only nourish my physical but also my soul. My grandma’s biscuits are famous in our family so I had to make a video to show her creative process.
I’m also excited to share this video because it is a step up from the last video I made of my grandma demonstrating how she makes her Homemade Waffles. If you are watching and you want to make these at home you can definitely follow the instructions that we’ve laid out. PEACE