Canadian born writer, musician and artisan Dawud Wharnsby began sharing his songs as a street performer in his late teens. Nearly three decades later, his body of work includes fifteen solo albums, five poetry anthologies, numerous sound-track credits, performances in some of the world’s most notorious theatres and collaborations with several celebrated artists.
In time-honoured, folk-music custom, Wharnsby’s songs have taken on lives of their own over the years. His melodies can be heard ringing out around the world in primary schools, universities, places of worship, rallies and conventions ~ his lyrics having found their way into the hearts of listeners regardless of age.
As a voice for the socially conscious and spiritually motivated, Dawud’s books, recordings, articles and intimate live performances have inspired a generation of educators, musicians, poets, artists and professionals.
Within sacred-music circles, Wharnsby is cited as a pioneer in the composition of English anasheed, hymns inspired by sufi tradition. His work has been referenced in textbook publications affiliated with Harvard University in the USA, as well as Oxford University and Cambridge University Press in the United Kingdom. The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre (Jordan) has consistently included Dawud on their annual list of the 500 Most Influential Muslims for his contributions to entertainment and the arts.
His universalist approach to spirituality keeps Dawud actively engaged with musical inter-faith initiatives and peace efforts world-wide. He tours and records with the band Abraham Jam (alongside his friends David LaMotte and Billy Jonas) using music to celebrate mutual support and respect between Abrahamic traditions. In his hometown, Dawud is a frequent collaborator with the Inshallah Singers and co-leader of Inshallah Kids & Families, community-music projects focusing on songs of peace and justice.
A strong advocate of Simple Living and traditional trades, Dawud’s handiwork as an artisan includes puppetry, woodworking, beekeeping and candle making. He manages his own music publishing company and an independent music label, which help support an endowment for educational initiatives.
Dawud resides with his family in Kitchener, Canada where he experiments with urban farming, continues to write and produces songs for educational children’s videos.
“My career is to keep life’s balance ~ educate myself at being as self-subsisting as possible, provide for myself and my family through honest labour, avoid wastefulness, remain gracious to others and thankful to a higher power.
Inspired by all that, I write poetry and songs.”
~ davie wharnsby