“Staying rooted within traditional forms and honouring those while also bringing in experimentation,” Shumaila Hemani, an award-winning Alberta- Sufi singer-songwriter and acousmatic composer “sings Sufi epics in South Asian Sufi tradition compellingly,” (New Works Calgary) by “creating audible sculptures evoking powerful imagery and stirring potent emotion.” (Edmonton Journal). Her voice and lyrics are locally celebrated for her “mesmerizing” and “emotionally nerve-striking” voice that carries “vocal virtuosity,” expressing “radically different inner existential visions” (Calgary Herald). Ph.D. in Music from the University of Alberta, the Former Music Faculty, Semester at Sea, Spring 2020 voyage and the Faculty of Extension (University of Alberta), Hemani published her songs dedicated to the climate crisis in her country of origin, Pakistan, in her debut album, Mannat that was applauded as “powerful” in supporting victims of climate disaster with Sufi poetry (Calgary Herald).
Nominated for the Alberta Magazine Awards in Poetry (2022) and recipient of the Cultural Diversity Award, her original single: Anticipating was featured in the Cross-Canada tour for Suicide Prevention Awareness and Hope (2020) and has been critically acclaimed for expressing “a visceral emotionality and a deep musicality expertly ushering listeners into a place of contemplation” (Radio Airplay). Her acousmatic piece, Perils of Heavy Rainfall, received the Second Prize at the Listening During COVID contest, leading her to speak at the Canadian Music Climate Summit in Toronto in October 2022. Hemani has performed for Celebrating Life (2022), Canadian Music Week (2021), the FACTOR-funded International Women’s Day (2021), Banff Arts Centre (2015) and is currently the artist in residence at Arts Common, Trico Changemakers Studio, and the Global Music Match, and she is currently writing her monograph for Routledge’s Islam and Human Rights series supported by the Asian Music Society Award (2022).