Mustafa announces debut record, ‘When Smoke Rises’

Singer-songwriter and poet Mustafa has announced his debut record, ‘When Smoke Rises’, due out later this year.

The eight-track project will be released on May 28 through his own label, Regent Park Songs, named after his neighbourhood in Toronto.

To coincide with the announcement of ‘When Smoke Rises’, Mustafa has also shared a new single, ‘Ali’.


The emotional folk-tinged track pays homage to his friend who was shot and killed four years ago. It arrives with a self-directed music video, ending with a dedication to “Ali Rizeig 1998-2017”.

Watch the music video for ‘Ali’ below:

Speaking to GQ Middle East back in February, Mustafa explained his physical response to listening back to the music he recorded for ‘When Smoke Rises’.

“I just didn’t know the depth of the emotional trauma. ‘I forgot the amount of times that I asked you to stay home. I forgot the amount of times I had conversations with you and the way in which you smiled and how you were trying to protect yourself.’ It made me wonder if I had ever really grieved in full,” he told GQ.

“I literally threw up in the middle of the street after I heard it. I felt like I was experiencing a transgression against myself. But completing the project felt like the beginning of the rest of my life.”


‘Ali’ is the third single to be released from the project, following on from ‘Stay Alive’ and ‘Air Forces’, co-produced by Jamie xx and Frank Dukes. Last year, he also shared a live rendition of his track ‘Come Back’, a collaboration with James Blake, which hasn’t been formally released.

Tracklist for Mustafa’s ‘When Smoke Rises’:

1. ‘Stay Alive’
2. ‘Air Forces’
3. ‘Separate’
4. ‘The Hearse’
5. ‘Capo (Feat. Sampha)’
6. ‘Ali’
7. ‘What About Heaven’
8. ‘Come Back’