Sami Yusuf is a popular singer and composer amongst
Muslims worldwide. To his credit, he has sold
over a million copies of his debut album Al-Muallim
in the Muslim World. He has been featured on many
channels and magazines including CNN, MBC, BBC.
Sami learnt to play several instruments at a
very young age and gradually began to show a keen
interest in singing and composing. He studied
music at several institutions and with renowned
composers and musicians including composers from
the Royal Academy of Music in London, one of the
world most prestigious music institutions. Sami
has been composing from a very young age and his
beautiful voice is supplemented by his extensive
knowledge of music theory and harmony. He has
also a good understanding of the Middle Eastern
modes (or Maqams).
To date he has performed at sell out events all
across the Muslim World from Istanbul to Casablanca,
from USA to Germany. Recently he has been commissioned
to compose the sound track for Hollywood Movie
The Kite Runner which is due to be
released later this year.
We live in times when political positions are
becoming polarized and cultures are considered
fenced-in entities that cannot be united. The
world is often viewed through a faulty prism that
divides "us" from "them."
Thats why it is such a tension-breaker
when someone takes the time and uses their talent
to remind us that we are all human beings. That
the blood running through your veins is not significantly
different from the blood that flows through your
neighbors body, even though you may not
share the same social status, political views,
religious conviction or hail from the same latitude
or longitude. This is where Outlandish enters
the picture. The story of Outlandish is an uplifting
tale about three friends common adventure,
which starts in the youth clubs and soccer fields
of the western Copenhagen suburbs. A compelling
tale of a band that has grown strong through a
rare combination of hard work, friendship and
the courage to explore new musical paths.
At the same time, Outlandish is the story of
a band that insists on the vantage point called
"the world we live in," and through
subjective, grass-root musical narratives, tries
make a difference. Quite a bit has happened since
Lenny Martínez, Waqas Qadri and Isam Bachiri
broke ground in 1997 to build Outlandish and begin
a career together.
I appreciate that thoughts, ideas or cultures
which may seem opposite or different can come
together cohesively to make something unique.
I was born and raised in Ponca City, a small town
at the edge of Green Country in Oklahoma, but
my parents were born and raised in Egypt. When
I was young I loved water painting but I was also
an amateur boxer for years.
I enjoy classical Western poetry but I enjoy
classical Arabic poetry as well. I have a degree
in Chemical Engineering but now Im finishing
my last year in law school. I like country and
blue grass music but I appreciate good R&B
music as well. Oklahoma, like me, is a place where
cultures meet and dance. Oklahoma is a hybrid
of Southern, Western and Native American culture
and thanks to my mothers insatiable desire
to learn and experience new things she made sure
that I and everyone in my family was immersed
in all of it.
I never planned on making a music album. Ive
just always found expressing myself through songs
a soothing and cathartic practice, and then a
series of events has led me to this endeavor.
I dont presume to make any grandiose statements
about how my music will change the industry or
change the world. My hope is that my words will
fall upon ears and hearts that may be seeking
the same thing I am seeking
to live a virtuous life that is pleasing to God.
Perhaps the listener can find some inspiration
in the words to live a better moment and perhaps
that may lead to another better moment and another.
One of my teachers taught me that goodness follows
goodness and vice follows vice. If I can inspire
the listener to ask a serious question about her
or his life then that may lead to another question
and, God willing, the quest for answers.
Hamza Robertson was born in Lancashire in the
North-West of England. Since school through college,
he involved himself in music and the performing
arts. He was a part of the local theatre workshop,
where he wrote music and acted in plays. He took
part in a variety of bands beyond college, playing
a variety of instruments and writing music. He
still produces his own unique pieces.
Through his early academic career, Hamza played
the keyboard and performed vocals and as such
played in several bands, later becoming lead singer,
keyboard player and guitarist in a band he formed
with his friends. Hamza has undertaken a series
of solo performances. He studied Performing Arts
Popular Music for three years. In working with
Awakening, Hamza aims to take part in a new dynamics
in calling to God, or 'dawah', in a new world,
through producing songs with a positive message.
He feels that too many people know too little
about Islam and the beauty of its essential values,
values which bring about harmony between people,
as opposed to discord.
Hamza believes that music, being a powerful source
of energy, can be employed to influence people
toward either good or bad. He feels there is too
much 'negative music' in the world giving people
the wrong message, and bringing about within them
the desire to do things which are against their
inherently pure nature, i.e their 'fitrah'.
Finally, a fresh new sound the industry has been
craving to hear. Since they burst on the hip hop/rhythm
Blues scene in early 2005 Francis and Ku better
known as The Sound of Reason have been turning
heads with their harsh honesty and opinionated
lyrics setting themselves up as the next big hype.
Fed up with having either professional sounding
music with no content, or a solid message accompanied
with poor produced instrumentals.
Meeting in high school, Francis and Ku began
using music as a means of addressing important
issues that concerned them. With their ability
to write and produce their own material the two
realized at a young age what a deep effect they
could have on the world through their music. With
a common goal they chose to call themselves The
Sound Of Reason, a name which reflected a meaning
behind their music in a time where musical reason
was nowhere to be heard. With their fearless attitude,
infectious personalities and all out showmanship
they have quickly become one of the fastest growing
movements to hit the worlds underground
music scene in years
In their short time The Sound Of Reason have
made themselves into not only one of the industries
brightest talents but a movement in itself with
its followers believing that not only the music,
but the world has to change. Image defining tracks
such as Help Me Change the World, Palestine and
the politically savvy Rise prove the duo can maintain
credibility with any genre. The new sound of the
next generation is here and it is being ushered
in by The Sound Of Reason.