Musketeers, Amigos, and Stooges—three can be funny, it can be company, (if you watched 70s sitcoms) and it can be holy. The references to three can be found everywhere. In art, the triptych or artwork composed of three parts is common.
My favorite aspect of the digital age of photojournalism is the ability to look at a story or a person in three parts—visually, vocally, and the written word. This concept sparked the idea for my personal portrait project Three Minutes. The goal is to approach portraiture using my photography, videography, and journalism skills. By using a three minute video vignette, three photographic portraits, and a three hundred word article, I hope to paint a picture of what is uniquely beautiful about each subject.
My first subject had to be Louisiana hip-hop producer, Amahl Abdul-Khaliq. While working for the American Press newspaper in Louisiana, I met Abdul-Khaliq. His engaging personality and positive energy quickly made him one of my favorite locals. I always intended to profile him for the American Press series, “Artistically Speaking,” but I moved to Atlanta before that came to fruition. This is the perfect opportunity to right that wrong.
Meet Amahl Abdul-Khaliq, aka AF THE NAYSAYER.
My first encounter with Abdul-Khaliq was at a flatland BMX jam in Westlake, LA. On the bike, he rides with native California cool. After our first conversation, my impression of him was he was a quiet and thoughtful BMX’er. That could be considered a contradictory statement, but little about Abdul-Khaliq fits into a neat box.
Abdul-Khaliq has a traditional college education from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA and graduated with a degree in Mass Communications. Yet the traditional route of career and family was never in his sights. Instead, Abdul-Khaliq chose to pursue his passion for music.
Traveling between New Orleans and Lake Charles, Abdul-Khaliq plays venues in both cities performing solo and with Luke St. John, Phantom Cleavage, Jorge De La Santos, and Flawed Giant. His work has been featured in a documentary, many BMX related videos, and in some of the videos I produced for the American Press.
Abdul-Khaliq credits his musical influences from all genres of music. Growing up with his parents’ music he listened to Jazz and R&B. In his teenage years, he was exposed to punk music and politics. This inspired the birth of his musical alter ego—AF THE NAYSAYER (always written in all capital letters). Other influences include DJ Premier, Nujabes, and a rapper/producer Myka Nyne who is featured on Abdul-Khaliq’s song “Imagerial Denouement” which was released on April 30th, 2013.
Much like “Imagerial Denouement”, Abdul-Khaliq’s portfolio of songs uses layers of samples and loops to create upbeat, melodic rhythms creating a musical fusion that crosses genre boundaries. His song “Sunday” is a personal favorite as is his 2011 work “An Agglomeration of Thoughts”. Abdul-Khaliq’s paints a jazzy sound backdrop for any activity or lyrical performer.
Follow Abdul-Khaliq’s latest projects on the World Wide Web by visiting his site at www.afthenaysayer.com. His other projects include the Dolo Jazz Suite and his record label, Self Educated Vinyl (www.self-educatedvinyl.com). You can listen to some of his work by visiting his SoundCloud page.