Riz Ahmed shared his relationship with the UK in his latest project The Long Goodbye.
The project was meant to be a theatre play with rap but due to the spread of Covid-19, the tour changed to an online production. Before it, he had released a short to accompany the production, which showed the dark and grim reality that many immigrants suffer through when living abroad.
Speaking to Daze, the rapper shared his main inspirations for the production, crediting his parents along with literary icons and their works.
Considering Toba Tek Singh is what he called his second track, it's no surprised that Manto is one of them.
According to Ahmed, "That short story is really inspiring, because there’s this one person who says that the easy option is to pick a side, but has refused. It’s important to consider that maybe no man’s land isn’t no man’s land. Maybe it’s ours, because there are so many of us there."
Another piece of work that is close to the rapper is Shikwa by Allama Iqbal.
"The opening track of The Long Goodbye is called 'The Breakup', but an alternative title for it is 'Shikwa', because it’s my complaint to my country – to my homeland, Britain. It’s really lodging my complaints and pleading with her not to end this relationship, or to conduct it differently than the toxic way it’s being conducted today."
Amongst other muses, Riz also speaks about his parents, saying, "I think that growing up, there was always a voice in my head which was my parents’ voice. It doesn’t mean I always listened to it, but I’m grateful that it was there. Really, everything I do is for them. They sacrificed their life opportunities in coming here and giving us life opportunities."