Sunday, 1 May 2011

i LoVe hIs sOnG

Sami Yusuf is a British singer-songwriter, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist musician.
In 2003 Yusuf released his debut album Al-Mu`allim at the age of 23, selling over two million copies. Following the release of his second album “My Ummah” in 2005, Yusuf was heralded as "Islam's Biggest Rock Star" by Time magazine for his success in attracting a relatively young fan base from diverse regions across the world, many of whom were of Muslim backgrounds. Yusuf has sold over seven million albums. In October 2010, following a five-year hiatus, Yusuf’s third official album "Wherever You Are" was launched, manifesting his self-coined genre “Spiritique”. Yusuf is involved in humanitarian initiatives, supporting, among others, Islamic Relief and Save the Children.

An ethnic Azeri born in Tehran, Yusuf was raised in London from the age of three.He initially began composing simple melodies starting at the age of three, and performing on stage for the first time around the age of nine.His “defining moment” musically occurred when his father loaned him a book on the basics of the Tombak [Persian instrument]. Upon returning from a tea break, his father found that the young Yusuf had mastered the book that had taken months for his students to finish. As a teenager he was a devotee of classical music and classical icons like Chopin and Mozart, admitting that he listened to Classic FM radio station for hours in a day.He went on training professionally in several other instruments including the santoor, piano, violin, oud, setar, tar, and daf under the guidance of traditional teachers, as well as professional musicians. While producing and demo-recording for another singer, he became aware of his own singing abilities which were further developed by the encouragement of his family. Divided between pursuing a musical career or studying law atKing’s College London, Yusuf opted for music while committed to “doing something dignified and respectable”. Though he claimed to having been always spiritual, he reconnected with his Islamic faith through a “religious awakening” at the age of nineteen. He then set out to share his experience with the other young British Muslims he felt were direly in search of an identity especially post 9/11. Yusuf self-produced and released his debut album “Al-mu’allim” at the age of 23, pioneering an innovative trend other Muslim artist would seek to emulate and promote, termed "Islamic pop".


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