Mustafa shares new song/video “Name of God”

Hear the first single from the Toronto-based post-folk artist’s debut album.

October 17, 2023

Mustafa Ahmed, the Toronto-born musician who began his career as a young boy delivering passionate spoken word poems, has shared details of his debut album. The as-yet-untitled follow-up to his 2021 EP When Smoke Rises, our eighth favorite project of that year, is coming soon, and today (October 17) sees the release of its lead single, "Name of God."


The new song is co-produced by The National's Aaron Desner (who also co-produced the Taylor Swift albums Folklore and Evermore), Simon Hessman, and Mustafa. Dialing back the atmospheric hip-hop-inspired production of Mustafa's previous songs, "Name of God" strips things down to a jaunty acoustic guitar and existential lyrics about life, death, and the hereafter.

Mustafa also directs the song's music video, putting himself in tableaus where he is both elevated and targeted by his community. It's full of eye-catching moments of different hues, from a death-defying motorcycle stunt to a home movie with Mustafa's cousin near the end. The video ends with a tribute to Mustafa's brother Mohamed, who was murdered in Toronto over the summer.


Watch the music video above and read Mustafa's statement on the song below. Mustafa appeared on "Walk Em Down (Don't Kill Civilians)," from Metro Boomin's 2022 album Heroes & Villains, and on "Toronto 2014," a song on Daniel Caesar's 2023 project Never Enough.

I never felt like the Nubian prince my father seen in me through his tinted lens. I try their dance, their prayer- I always fall short.

& Gods name wasn't always related to beauty for me, but to hopelessness, this Islam we share and Allah we call for while witnessing a constant violence that continues to

bind us, I don’t think I ever felt completely Muslim among other Muslims,

All these sub-beliefs like borders. My aunts in all their wisdom and narrowness-one Sufi spinning into remembrance, one refuting the taking of a photograph.

When my big brother was killed in what will always feel like yesterday, knowing the suspected murderer was someone he held as a friend, someone he prayed with- it led me to believe that maybe his love was his end? Maybe where there is no love, parting from love keeps us alive? Maybe ending in love is the only way to actually begin? I don't know.

The only clear memory from the days of his death were my parents reciting in unison, "oh Allah, we accept his passing, we accept what you ordained."

I'm desperate to love God like them.

Our faith and our hearts are too often our demise- I know a field of young niggas dreaming that can testify to this. For better or worse we'll uncover every bone beneath our hollow laughter, our confused affection; maybe its revealed in our final gasp for meaning.

Until then.

Bismillah, In the Name of God, 10.17.23


Mustafa shares new song/video “Name of God”