ANI - Transforming Islam Through Music - singer/songwriter/producer/activist
Born in Malaysia, Ani spent a good portion of her formative years being raised in Germany, Egypt and India. Her exposure to different politics, religion and culture has shaped her into becoming a citizen of the world. As a songwriter and producer she has worked with many different artists with releases in Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Germany, the U.K., Japan, and the U.S. Her work in Malaysia resulted in an Album of the Year award at the AIMM which is the Malaysian equivalent of the Grammy. She also contributed a song to Keb’ Mo’s album “Keep It Simple” which helped him win a Grammy (2005) in the Contemporary Blues category, a song for the Grammy nominated album “Big Wide Grin” (2003) performed by Grammy winners Keb’Mo’ and Brenda Russell, and to Melissa Manchester’s latest release called “Thank You For Your Faith In Me”. Recently she contributed three songs for Japanese artist Yuki. Her album ‘Joy’ was at #1 for several weeks.
Ani has uniquely blended her two worlds of music and social activism into one. She speaks and sings her message of social justice, her angst against patriarchic practices within Islam, and peace, from a Muslim’s perspective. “Ummah Wake Up” is an Islamic pop album focusing on the need for Muslims to seek out the real Qur’anic teachings, the Middle Path. The path against discrimination, against violence and against war. “One” is an interfaith album, born as a result of her love for the many faiths and the realization that we are truly one humanity. Through her activism, Ani hopes these projects will show the world that there is an alternative face to Islam other than the stereotyped cast it currently has.
Since 2006 Ani started a progressive Muslim community in Los Angeles which lead to the establishment of Muslims for Progressive Values, a grassroots organization incorporated as a 501 (c)3 in 2007. In the short years since inception, Ani presided over MPV’s expansion to include chapters and affiliates in Los Angeles, Washington DC, Atlanta, Philadelphia, as well as Ottawa and Toronto, Canada. She has organized numerous interfaith arts and music festivals, participated in many interfaith dialogues and is a strong supporter of LGBTQ rights. She is the brainchild of Literary Zikr – a project that counters radical Islam on-line and most recently MPV’s first book, an anthology titled “Progressive Muslim Identities – Personal Stories from the U.S. and Canada”. Ani contributes to AslanMedia.com, HuffingtonPost and an anthology "American Dreamers". She performs wedding services for mixed faith and gay couples and in 2006, she was named a Muslim Leader of Tomorrow by the American Society for Muslim Advancement. Ani's latest project is "Be Notorious", a campaign countering radical theology on-line.