Originally appeared on Grimy Goods.
Imaad Wasif often feels like he not of this world. His realm is not physical, though it is tangible. I had the opportunity to pose him some questions about his recent record, Great Eastern Sun, and his career in general to get a chance to understand him and the process behind his profoundly moving work. He shared insights on why he writes and records, his level of spirituality or lack thereof, and gives a glimpse of things to come; read an excerpt from the interview below.
How complete was Great Eastern Sun when it was shelved?
Imaad Wasif: It was the fragments of my damaged psyche that were the loose ends that kept me from releasing it at the time. When I was writing the album, it was completely cathartic, pulling me out a void. But in 2012, when all the tracks were mixed, I suddenly felt the weight of what I’d done and wanted to get as far off from it as possible. So I hid it away.
The opening track, “God is Not a Mountain,” feels like a very distressed spiritual meeting. Can you tell us the origin of the song?
IW: When I was a child living out in the desert there was a huge mountain that someone had spray painted “GOD” on. We would drive past it and I literally thought that was God. It’s such a beautifully innocent idea, one that was shattered as I grew to explore the notion of the cosmic. The image has never left me. The song came much later when I was coping with a death and realized that there was something I could never understand about mortality and the transference of energy out of the body into parallel dimension and infinite circular time. It was an attempt to express that idea. “Though I am right here, you treat me like I’m gone/God is not a mountain/God is no one that you can see or feel/It’s like touching the sun.”