Chacona 'A la vida bona'
Veteran British singer-songwriter Yusuf/Cat Stevens is spending time with his family in Dubai during the pandemic. “We’re kind of surviving, and surviving well,” he tells Apple Music. “We haven't had so many cases here. The government's been a bit strict, but I think that's a good thing.” November 2020 will mark the 50th anniversary of his 1970 album Tea for the Tillerman. To celebrate, Yusuf reconnected with the album’s original producer, Paul Samwell-Smith, to record a reimagined version of the soft-rock classic, coming out later in 2020. “We thought that we would give Tillerman a nice birthday present,” he says. “People can get to know our jolly little Tillerman again.” Yusuf also created this exclusive Apple Music playlist of songs bringing him joy during lockdown; here, he walks us through some of his favourites.
Tom Waits, “Flower’s Grave”
“There's something about this melody. There’s kind of a 1920s German tilt to this melody. And the fact that he's talking about flowers, kind of like a soul. I think it’s beautiful.”
Bob Dylan, “Father of Night”
“I think he kind of exposes himself more from what he believes instead of being the artful dodger of [the] music business, which he is also. But that song talks about the one who made this all possible—he's talking about God. I just obviously connect with that very much. I did then when it came out. It was just one of my favourite tracks.”
Green Day, “Know Your Enemy”
“I chose it because it's rebellion. That's why. It's coming from America, which is even better. They sound English. That also helps.”