The Poetry Project

Stephen Said

Stephan Said is an internationally acclaimed singer/rapper/musician, writer, and organizer known for pioneering what he calls “global pop,” fusing pop, hip-hop, rock, rap, jazz, folk and world dance musics in an infectious border breaking sound with ecstatic lyrics of global unity and change. An Iraqi-American with family in Baghdad and Mosul, he sings and writes in numerous langauges and is known for his role in major social movements across the globe including the Seattle/WTO protests and antiwar movements, the Egyptian Revolution, Arab Spring, and Occupy movement. Likened to a Bob Marley, John Lennon or Bob Dylan for the digital millennium (Athens Magazine), he’s been called “this generation’s Woody Guthrie” (Billboard Magazine), and “le troubadour du mouvement altermondialiste” or “troubadour of the global justice movement” (L’Humanite and The Progressive).

Stephan’s anti-war song “The Bell,” with folk legend Pete Seeger and members of both Hip-hop group Spearhead and rock band Ween, was hailed as the “first major song against the war in Iraq” (New York Times) and became the first-ever viral protest video online. His songs have been performed by artists across genres ranging from Dave Matthews to Beatnick and K-Salaam, Patti Smith, DJ Spooky and more. His song “Aheb Aisht Al Huriyah” (I love the life of freedom) was released in January 2011 at the outbreak of the Egyptian revolution. His song ”Take A Stand” and new album difrent:, produced by Grammy winner Hal Willner, were released with a declaration “A Song United for A Global Spring” calling for an international movement for a more equitable global economy in September 2011. His most universal statement of hope yet, the album features an all-star band of world, pop and jazz legends including Lenny Pickett, Cindy Blackman-Santana, Art Baron, Yousif Sheronick, George Mitchell, Kevin Hunter, Howard Johnson, Earl Gardner, Jane Scarpantoni, and Rob Clores.

In conjunction with the release, Stephan and a team of music industry and international development pros launched a website and broadcast platform, as a global source for music and culture for social change. Since the album’s release, the site has featured interviews, features and downloads with a wide range of global artists including Amadou and Mariam, Warren Haynes, Vieux Farka Toure, and more. Stephan has been featured in Time Magazine, The New York Times, the New Yorker, NPR, PRI, BBC, The Village Voice, and more, and his essays on music, movement building, non-violence and global affairs have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Progressive Magazine, The Huffington Post, AlterNet, Counterpunch, and others.