Throughout her career, from Vancouver to South Africa to Toronto and many points in between, Ibrahim has worked against the encroaching systems and machinery that would limit or dilute her vision. It’s impossible to imagine the future if you can’t escape the present. There, in the hyper curious process of transposing atomic-level details into big ideas and back again, songs emerge. Ibrahim’s work pushes back against binaries, against reductiveness, against the clenching muscles of expectation. “Planets isn’t just a product of black American or South African music styles; its multiple identities make it distinctly Canadian,” writes critic Anupa Mistry for Pitchfork. “It’s the work of an optimist whose voice wasn’t silenced by the confines of an unimaginative industry; it’s expansive in effort, and by sheer existence.”
Described as “a retro-Afrofuturist vision sending listeners on a journey through 40 years of electronic music” (Nuvo), Ibrahim’s music brings elements of spoken word, hip hop, soul, house and 70s pop together, filtered through the prismatic and often contradictory lenses of personal, historical and scientific relativities. Even the concept of diaspora seems to fall short of capturing the vivid vibrational multitudes of Ibrahim’s scope.