Very proud to show off the cover to our new album, and to tell its story. It’s the first time we use a photograph for an album cover. This one had been kicking around my family’s basement for years. I hadn’t thought much of it – I thought it was some stock photo from a Time/Life Magazine type of thing, as it has that slice-of-life feel to it. Only later did I learn that the guy in the white shirt, smiling in back and trying to exert some sort of influence over the chaos in front was my father Shukri. This photo was taken sometime in the 1960’s in the mountains of Lebanon, where he was a camp counselor and where campers came from all over to apparently run amok and blow up Coke bottles.*
The album is called Another Other, and on it, I’m asking all sorts of questions I constantly grapple with, on race, identity and privilege. I don’t presume to have answers, rather introduce the idea that these issues rarely fit in a nice, neat box. I love this photo because it blurs the lines: you don’t think of who’s white, who’s Arab, who’s rich or who’s poor. It’s not so easy to draw conclusions. I love that.
* fun sidenote: the boy in front with his hands on his knees is Stewart Copeland, the drummer for the Police. Or so the family legend says. We should send him the photo and see if it’s true…