BIO/SPIRITO:

IS:
Yusuf Yoshi Misdaq is a novelist, poet, musician & multimedia artist. He was born & raised in Brighton, UK, & is of Afghan heritage. He has released 3 novels, 7 books of poetry, 4 LP’s of self-produced & performed music, as well as 2 avant-garde documentary films. Through an experimental, abstract style, Misdaq’s work harmoniously intermingles psychological self-examination, world traditions and keen observations of contemporary societal trends.   Please see “Grand Offerings” section to preview some Selected Works

HAS BEEN:
Misdaq graduated with an MA in Documentary Filmmaking by Practice from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2007. In 2011, he was offered a place on American Universities prestigious Creative Writing MFA program in Washington DC & in 2014, was offered a PhD in Comparative Literature at SOAS, University of London. He maintains a furious output across genres sparked by passion, organization & dedicated practice. He has travelled for his art extensively & has called home cities like London, Lilongwe, Washington DC, Santa Rosa de Copan, Baltimore, New York City; he presently resides in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

CAN BE FOUND ON:
NPR, the BBC, Wire magazine, Stylus & many others have featured the work of Yusuf “Yoshi” Misdaq. Despite much popular early media attention, the evolving nature of his work, voice & mission is, by design, a highly intimate one. Misdaq seeks to creates a primal & direct connection with people, marked by a spirit of humility & unusual sincerity. This does not always easily lend itself to social media, but rather, is designed to leave an indelible, lasting seed-stamp of inspiration upon the present human heart often by bypassing traditional media altogether. What makes a greater impact, something that you check out because it’s trending, or something you chance upon in a moment of natural exploration? The natural (often mistakenly called “random”) way of discovering things can create more space for people to trace their own origin story around it. Thus, Misdaq’s works are increasingly popularized in strange and offline ways, perhaps one of those have brought you to this website.   – Please see the “Onlookers” section for some Press / notable individual reactions to Misdaq’s work.

ALSO DOES:
Misdaq is also a teacher of Creative Writing, having taught in numerous venues (New York University’s Islamic Center, The Marvin Center at George Washington University, the University of Brighton, in his hometown.) He believes in empowering everyone to create on their own terms, & exhibit their work in self-organized, creative/organic ways, rooted in both community & an unpretentious spirit of generosity.   – Please see the present “Inroad Circles” page for more information.

BELIEVES:
Part of Misdaq’s desire to clarify the creative process as much as sensibly possible (i.e. lifting the veil of creative acts & creative ways of being for regular folk), is being purposefully frank & open about his own creative influences, or “teachers,” whom he honors every chance he can.   – Please see the “Teachers” section.

The world is in a continuous state of self-destruction, clumsily handled revolution, and daily egotistical fumbling. Along the way, as the fires of desire & the numbness of comfort & complacency begin to burn away, all humans remember their need to hear from the true philosophers, artists, awake ones. They call upon them, ask to hear them speak, so that they may remember the forgotten words of enchantment made anew. When this happens, it is good. For, as has been said many times before, poets & artists more often see what others do not.   For numerous multimedia interviews with Yusuf “Yoshi” Misdaq, please see the “Outpours” section.

Beyond the creation of art, Misdaq is a passionate & dynamic advocate for, and about art. Drawing from an almost encyclopedic knowledge of art history across genres, his own vast travels & experiences (in the worlds of diplomacy, journalism & software engineering) he creates contemporary philosophies whose primary relevance is focused upon the soul. His talks help audience members generate their own, innate, powerful energy-fields through inspirational imagery, the touching of nerves, and by tickling out a quiet sense of awe. Only once this process has begun (i.e. when the individual has begun to truly charge their energy through an increasing creative impetus) can there be a deep, meaningful linking with others. Failing this, we are all simply taking turns at using each other as grinders to sharpen our swords upon. There is a better way.    – We again urge you to see the video (coming soon) on the “Inroad Circles” page.

Creativity is (initially) a solo act that can circumnavigate the needless infliction of pain upon others & pre-empt therapy for the self. Always throughout, there must be a chivalrous example of unrelenting hope & encouragement; a figurehead of overflowing, unreasonable kindness & support. Without the guide, a journey has no fruitful meaning. Yusuf “Yoshi” Misdaq has best described his art & mission as “a vast star-charting documentation / exploration of the infinite depths of Truth and Love.”

 Support Yusuf “Yoshi” Misdaq’s work by enjoying the previews on this website, exploring further performances / associated content on YouTube, & if you like, purchasing his work online through Amazon, iTunes, etc). Share. Create. Rejoice. 

Writing

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Yusuf Misdaq’s 3 novels to date (Pieces of a paki; Narayan; The Steep Ascent) are notable for their direct narrative style, keen sensitivity to (and illustration of) the intentions / inner dialogues of his protagonists, as well as his own unique ‘realism=magical’ element. At the same time, the genres of his books have varied from one to the other (coming of age, urban contemporary, fantasy/satire). Another recurring theme in much of his writing and poetry is that of the everyday Westerner’s encounter with concepts of instinct, creativity, belief, spirituality & -sometimes more specifically- Islam / Muslims. His writing has been praised by best-selling novelist Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner) & featured on NPR, BBC TV & Radio. Yusuf has read his poetry at the Gielgud Theatre at RADA in London, as well as at the Howl! Poetry Festival in New York City.

Music

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Yoshi has written, produced, performed & released 4 solo albums + numerous other collaborative albums & projects. His work began as an echo of mid-late 90’s Hip-Hop and Electronica music & has since expanded into dub, folk music & much spoken-word improvisation. Yoshi plays the guitar, the harmonium & the piano, although his first and most abiding instrument was/is the sample; his recent albums also feature his playing of numerous world-folk instruments such as the guimbri, djembe, rubab, shamisen etc. Yusuf is the first to be a consistently good MC/Producer + Singer/Songwriter at the same time. His music has been featured and critically acclaimed in magazines like WIRE, Hip-Hop Connection and Stylus (bought by Pitchfork in 2007). Described as “a spectral presence in music” whose works, “embody sincerity,” and are “imaginative and exploratory in nature [1]“.

Film & Video

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Since graduating from Royal Holloway, University of London with an MA in Filmmaking (Documentary Filmmaking by Practice) – Yusuf has chosen a more experimental path for much of his film-based artwork & documentary projects. While working professionally as a producer, video editor & occasional cameraman for various media organizations, & continuing to create observational documentaries, Yusuf’s most potent, innovative & innate style is one that veers back towards his initial point of origin in film: the home video. His numerous music videos have all experimented with home cameras, mobile-phone cameras and hand-held video devices, which alongside his unique approach to (and populist philosophy of) Video Editing, contribute to a very particular aesthetic. The 12-year-old Yusuf who directed feature-length films on his fathers Video 8 has changed very little in terms of this independent, DIY, imagination-based sensibility. Consistent with his claim that all people are (and must be) creative, Yusuf has described the aim of his unique, natural style as, “empowering the everyday audience who watch those videos, providing a solid-base for artistic license and experimentalism within the realm of the everyday world, for everyday people to get in on.

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Short-Bio for pretentious institutions

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Misdaq's work frames post-conceptual, pre-modern, past-future permutations and channels them into meta-narratives located around the dadaist neo-colonial ideal, seeking to deconstruct the sex/power paradigm and reformulate it with realpolitik representations of didactic faux-global transcendentalism.

 

1.Independent Curators International, NYC

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