From the day he first picked up a guitar, Iftekaruddin has been interested in combining various genres of music to create his own style, including songs recorded in both English and Spanish. His eclectic approach to songwriting can be heard in his most recent adult contemporary release, Songs About Women.
In the past two years, two unforeseen events have had a major influence on Iftekaruddin’s musical outlook. “Up until 2011 I was only making music for ‘grown ups,’” Iftekaruddin noted. “Then a chance encounter with a very special young girl and her family added a whole new perspective to my musical career.”
Iftekaruddin was playing his guitar near an auto shop while waiting for an oil change when a young boy and girl came over to listen. The girl began to softly sing along and Iftekaruddin did an improvised duet with the girl for about 15 minutes.
He then realized the girl’s parents had come over—and were politely waiting for him to finish. “The girl’s mother explained that her daughter was autistic and that they didn’t want to interrupt a song that was so calming for their child,” Iftekaruddin said. “She told me that her daughter had been feeling extremely anxious and that singing the song with me was the first time she had been calm all day.”
Iftekaruddin went home that night and reflected on how connected this little girl had been to his music. “I decided to write the girl her very own album,” he said I” wanted to fill it with music that any child—and their parents—would enjoy, no matter what their challenges were in life.” The result is Iftekaruddin’s new album, Songs About Turtles, Wolves and Stan the Man: Music for Kids Who Get It!
Another unplanned occurrence made Iftekaruddin realize the importance of good sound in live performance. “At the last minute I was asked to do a charity event in Santa Monica and had to use whatever PA they had. It was a JBL EON system,” he said. “I was performing in a massive yoga studio with beautiful bamboo floors and as soon as I plugged in and started playing I was mesmerized. I stopped worrying about my performance and just got lost in the sound. To hear my voice and guitar ringing out of the EON monitors with such clarity was just amazing – a definite rock star moment!”
Iftekaruddin soon purchased a JBL EON15XT powered loudspeaker. “Now I know I’m going to have great sound wherever I go,” he said. “I primarily play a Godin A6 guitar live and the EON515XT allows me to play direct—no EQ pedal, no ultra-funky acoustic wave modulator—just direct. I can hear every single nuance of my axe through the EON515XT.”
Iftekaruddin takes the EON515XT with him at all times. “I also have a 12-Volt/35-Watt battery plus a converter that I use to give me mobile power,” he said. “A lot of times after a show I will drive to a bank parking lot or the local Costco in Los Feliz and play for a few hours. To hear the EON515XT rebounding in such massive spaces is a holy experience.”
“My foray into the kids’ music arena has been a huge surprise in my life, and after doing shows many kids come up to me and want to know about my guitar and my equipment,” he added. “They are always interested in the EON515XT and its built-in mixer and I usually wind up having a ‘helper’ or two at a birthday party to help me set up. It’s so easy to use that they are always able to pick up very quickly how the EON515XT works.”
In addition, Iftekaruddin has found JBL Professional’s customer support to be first-rate. “It has been my experience that a lot of large companies lose touch with their customers, but JBL makes me feel like they listen to us folks who are out there in the field,” he said.
Iftekaruddin continues to bring his musical message of positivity to audiences at home and abroad. “On my new CD you’ll hear songs about working through challenges and making mistakes, a song that can help kids learn Spanish and a song about the beauty of being ‘different.’ I do my best to create a fun listening experience for the whole family.”
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