Digital Journal

Afghan-American producer, composer, and pianist Omar Akram chatted about his 2024 Grammy nomination for his latest studio offering “Moments of Beauty.”

His album “Moments of Beauty” has been nominated in the “Best New Age, Ambient or Chant Album” category alongside albums by such artists as Kirsten Agresta-Copely (“Aquamarine”), Ólafur Arnalds (“Some Kind of Peace — Piano Reworks”), David Darling and Hans Christian (“Ocean Dreaming Ocean”), as well as Carla Patullo featuring Tonality and The Scorchio Quartet (“So She Howls”).

In 2013, Akram made history as the first Afghan-American artist to win a Grammy Award for “Best New Age Album” with his musical effort titled “Echoes of Love.”

Q & A interview
Congrats on your latest Grammy nomination… How did that feel?

Thank you so much! The news of my latest Grammy nomination for “Moments of Beauty” filled me with an overwhelming sense of joy and gratitude. It’s truly a humbling and profound moment in my career. 

A Grammy nomination is not only a validation of my creative journey but also a celebration of the broader cultural diversity within the music world. 

This nomination represents a culmination of years of dedication, exploration, and a commitment to evolving as an artist.

How did it feel to make history with your first Grammy nomination (and win)?

Being the first Afghan American artist to be nominated and win a Grammy Award in 2013 was an incredible milestone in my career, and now, receiving another Grammy nomination for “Moments of Beauty” holds profound significance for me both personally and professionally. 

The recognition fills me with a sense of overjoyed gratitude and deep honor.

What inspires your music and songwriting?
My music and songwriting draw inspiration from a diverse range of sources that collectively shape my unique artistic expression. Many of my compositions are inspired by personal experiences and memories. 
“Moments of Beauty,” for instance, is a reflection on cherished moments, capturing the essence of life’s fleeting nature. Growing up in a multicultural environment has significantly influenced my musical style. 
In essence, my music reflects the complexities of life, celebrating cultural diversity, and exploring the universal emotions that connect us all. It’s a continuous journey of self-discovery and expression, fueled by personal experiences and a deep passion for the transformative power of music.

How does it feel to be an artist in the digital age? (Now with streaming, technology, and social media being so prevalent)

Being an artist in the digital age comes with a unique set of opportunities and challenges, shaped by the prevalence of streaming, technology, and social media.

In essence, being an artist in the digital age is a dynamic and ever-evolving experience. It’s a balance between embracing the opportunities presented by technology, staying connected with fans, and navigating the challenges of a rapidly changing industry landscape.

Overall, it’s an exciting era that requires adaptability, creativity, and a strategic approach to thrive in the digital music ecosystem.

What do your plans for the future include?

I am actively involved in the development of a workplace comedy TV show, a project that adds an exciting dimension to my portfolio. I am always enthusiastic about the opportunities to create impactful and resonant work. 
Whether it’s through music, storytelling, or other artistic ventures, my aim is to engage in projects that inspire, connect with audiences, and contribute meaningfully to the cultural landscape. 
Stay tuned for more updates on the exciting and evolving path that lies ahead in my creative journey!

What is your advice for young and aspiring musicians?
Embrace your individuality and find your unique musical voice. Don’t be afraid to explore different genres and influences to shape your distinct sound. Success in the music industry often comes with dedication and perseverance. 
Stay committed to honing your craft, practicing regularly, and overcoming challenges along the way. Cultivate relationships within the music community. Connect with fellow musicians, producers, and industry professionals. Networking can open doors to opportunities and collaborations. 
Ultimately, stay true to your passion for music. Let your love for the art guide your choices and decisions. Authenticity resonates with audiences and contributes to a fulfilling artistic journey. 
Remember that the path to success in music is unique for each individual. Embrace the joy of creating, stay persistent in pursuing your goals, and enjoy the evolving journey of expressing yourself through music.

What does the word success mean to you? (My favorite question)
Success, to me, extends beyond mere achievements or external recognition. It encompasses a profound sense of fulfillment and contentment derived from the alignment of my endeavors with personal values and passions. 
It is the feeling of making a positive impact, whether through music, creativity, or any other pursuit, and contributing meaningfully to the lives of others. Success involves continuous growth, learning, and the ability to overcome challenges with resilience. 
Ultimately, it’s about finding a harmonious balance between professional accomplishments and the genuine joy derived from the creative process and the connections made along the way. 
Success, in its truest sense, is a holistic and evolving journey that reflects authenticity, purpose, and a positive impact on both myself and those touched by my work.

What would you like to tell our readers about your album ‘Moments of Beauty’?
My latest album “Moments of Beauty,” is an exploration of personal reflection and the universal emotions that connect us all. 
Through this collection, I invite listeners to embark on a journey of introspection, cherishing the beauty found in both the joyful and challenging moments of life. The one thing I hope listeners take away from my music is a sense of emotional resonance. 
I aim to create a space for contemplation and connection, where the melodies and compositions serve as a soundtrack to their own personal experiences. Whether it’s finding solace, inspiration, or a moment of reflection, I want my music to evoke a meaningful and transformative response.
In essence, I aspire for my music to be a source of comfort and connection, fostering a shared experience that transcends individual stories and resonates with the broader spectrum of human emotions. 
Each note and composition are crafted with the intention of creating a profound and lasting impact on the listener’s journey.

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