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Mustafa's debut album is a tribute to the Toronto community he grew up in

Frank Dukes
Courtesy of the artist

The Toronto-raised singer-songwriter Mustafa's parents emigrated to his hometown from Sudan, eventually settling into a housing project within the city's Regent Park neighborhood — growing up there, Mustafa witnessed gun violence that, in some cases, took the lives of his good friends.

Now 25 years old, Mustafa is a nationally recognized poet in Canada, a member of the hip-hop collective Halal Gang and a co-writer of songs for artists like the Jonas Brothers and The Weeknd. His debut full-length album, When Smoke Rises, folds together the sum of his expertise and experiences into a tribute to the community he came from. In this session, we'll enjoy a conversation with Mustafa along with live performances of songs from the new record, starting with "Stay Alive."

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