By GAC Staff member Preetam Sengupta

Each month we’ll feature a video from one of Guelph’s musical community members. If you’re a musician and have a video you’d like us to feature, please send a YouTube link our way along with a short bio.

Our video this month comes as a result of a discovery made from this year’s virtual Doors Open Guelph video series. The series has begun, and new videos will be added over the course of October to the new (link will take you directly to Doors Open video page). When The Muslim Society of Guelph’s video is uploaded on October 16th, it will contain music from today’s featured artist, Ilyas Mao. With very high-quality videos and songs featured in film and television, this artist has captured the attention of (literally) millions. Taking time to peruse his YouTube channel, one will discover an eclectic mix of original and cover songs spanning in genre from hip-hop to R&B/soul to traditional/spiritual, sung in multiple languages, often without instrumental accompaniment. Today’s video was released not quite two weeks ago, and is for a song called “How Far” featuring Essam. Like much of Ilyas’s music, this song has a deeply spiritual message packaged in a very contemporary way.

Ilyas Mao

Ilyas Mao is a singer, composer, songwriter, and producer. The talented artist is able to combine the structure, composition and rhythmic balance of a harmonic scale, giving him the ability to create multiple songs out of the whim using only his voice. The topics of his inspirational and uplifting songs range from social justice, family values, spiritual guidance, and finding one’s self. Ilyas’ wealth of experience has led him to confidently engage audiences of all ages and cultures.

Though we couldn’t find an official website, people can follow Ilyas on Instagram (@ilyasacappella) or YouTube, where we’re sure you’ll learn about any new projects. We don’t know if they’ll be available on Bandcamp, but our friends over there are once again supporting our artist friends by foregoing their share of artist revenues with “Bandcamp Friday” happening tomorrow (October 1st). We’ve mentioned it many times over the past many months, but buying music on that platform is a great way to support artists as they continue to create without knowing when they’ll be back on the road.

Despite Ilyas singing “if it wasn’t for hardship would I ever know ease?” in this song, we think you’ll agree that it would be great for that ease to outweigh that hardship in the coming days, weeks, and months. In the meantime, we’re fortunate to still be able to discover and listen to wonderful songs like Ilyas Mao’s “How Far”.

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