The concert will take place on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th July 2008. Doors open from 19.30pm. The concert times are from 20.00 - 23.00pm on both days. Limited seats so book in advance!
Saturday 12th July
Zain Bhikha is seen as one of the pioneers of the nasheed industry. From his humble beginnings in 1994 when he won a singing competition on a local radio station, his mesmerising nasheeds have become world-renowned for their messages about the diversity of humanity and unifying causes that transcend cultural and religious boundaries with his gift of singing. Zain took it a step further and composed a full album, entitled A Way of Life. This was a compilation of basic Acapella Islamic songs, mostly in English covering the various tenets of Faith. The album, which was the beginning of greater things, only took Zain two weeks to complete. After a few other releases that further increased his prominence in South Africa, he was given the chance to work with Yusuf Islam and his Mountain of Light Studios, learning much from his mentor and establishing himself as an international artist. His Mountains of Makkah album was inspired by his pilgrimage to Makkah in 2004. The lyrics are a personal reflection of his thoughts and feelings while partaking in this profound spiritual journey. His 2006 album Allah Knows reunited him with friend and artist Dawud Wharnsby Ali. Zain continues to work in South Africa producing both educational and inspirational works, and performing around the world.
Junaid Jamshed is a famous Pakistani recording artist who came to the limelight as frontman of pop group Vital Signs in 1987 with the song Dil Dil Pakistan and remained a youth icon through the 1990s. In 1994, he released his debut solo album "Junaid of Vital Signs" which became an immediate national hit, followed by Us Rah Par in 1999 and Dil Ki Baat in 2002. Since then he developed interest in religion and concentrated on singing hymns. His debut album in 2005 was followed by Mehboob-e-Yazdaan in 2006 and "Badr-ud-Duja" in 2008. He also runs a boutique with the name "J.", read as "Jay Dot", which has several outlets all over Pakistan.
Mo Amer Mohammed Amer is a forthcoming brilliant personality in the world of Muslim Comedy. Originally a Palestinian, Mohammed fled his birth country of Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War while he was 9 years old. His family eventually settled in Houston, Texas. Mohammad’s family was persuaded that he was going to become a Doctor; however destiny had a different plan. Mohammed had a comical side which started out by impersonating family members and developed it over a few short years to become the youngest comedian on the Muslim Comedy Tour; Allah Made Me Funny.
Mohammed developed his talent in the comedy club scene. In just a few short years, he was performing in USO tours in Germany, Italy, Sicily, Japan, Korea and Bahrain. Upon returning, he was selected to perform at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival in 2004, alongside great stars as Wayne Newton and The Smothers Brothers. Soon afterwards, Mohammed toured with the world-famous nasheed pop singer Sami Yusuf. The audience treasured his sharp-witted comedy, which appealed to a broad international spectrum.
Mo will be performing on both Saturday and Sunday.
Khaleel Muhammad in 2003 made the transition from providing backing vocals for Yusuf Islam and Zain Bhikha and moved into the limelight to perform his debut album HEAVEN along side Dawud Wharnsby Ali, SHAAM, Mecca 2 Medina and Sami Yusuf at the sell-out Nasheed Extravaganza 2 tour of the UK. His successful debut album HEAVEN pushes back the creative envelope and is his distinctive contribution to the growing English nasheed genre, making him the first ‘Soul Brother’ in the UK Nasheed Industry. Taking traditional sounds, themes and sentiments, Khaleel adds his own rich harmonies and contemporary style and blends them into well-crafted and memorable nasheeds. And all this using voice and percussion only!
Muhammad Mustafa (Abu Rateb) is among the most famous Muslim singers in the whole Arab world, even reaching as far as Malaysia and Indonesia, singing in different dialects and performing in different countries. Many of his songs address various struggles and causes- he addresses the Palestinian struggle in almost all of his albums. Originally born in Syria, he currently resides in the United States. Abu Rateb differs from other singers in that he uses electronic instrument that are similar to the Duff beat. Songs that made him famous include "Beraghmi al-Qahri" "Ila al-Quds haya nashod arihal" "lil kuwait" and "Taqaddam".
Rachid Gholam - Born in 1972 in Casablanca, Rachid Gholam started his artistic career in the eighties, while still a teenager. Then, he was performing the old Arab musical classics of Um Kulthum and Nazem al-Ghazali. He has since risen to become of Morocco’s most famous singers of the spiritual artistic tradition, performing around the Arab world. At the end of the nineties, he joined the spiritual movement Al-Adl wal Ihsane, the Justice and Spirituality Movement, following which his life was changed into one that is “more serene and more stable”, his music also transforming and focusing on Mada’ih, or chants in adoration of God and the Prophet. He is also a spiritual educationalist for Al Adl wa Al Ihsan.
Sunday 13th July
Outlandish are a multi-award winning hip-hop group based in Denmark. Formed in 1997, the group consists of Isam Bachiri (from Morocco), Lenny Martinez (from Honduras) and Waqas Qadri (from Pakistan). In 2000, Outlandish released their debut album, ‘Outland’s Official’. It landed them critical acclaim and nominations in six categories at the Danish Music Awards, where they won the Best Hip Hop Act. Singles from their second album made the most impact on the international music charts. Hit singles included "Aicha" (first made famous by Khaled) which made it to number one in Germany. They were the only Danish act performing at the European MTV Awards 2006, where they also won the prize for Best Danish Act. From different faiths, their music takes its influence from various backgrounds; and although their songs are primarily in English, they usually feature lyrics in Spanish, Urdu, Danish, and Arabic. All these influences make the music of Outlandish quite unique.
Kareem Salama appreciates that thoughts, ideas, or cultures that may seem opposite or different, can come together cohesively to make something unique. He was born and raised in a small town at the edge of Green Country in Oklahoma, but his parents were born and raised in Egypt. Oklahoma, like him, is a place where cultures meet. Oklahoma is a hybrid of Southern, Western and Native American culture, and thanks to his mother’s insatiable desire to learn and experience new things, she made sure that he and everyone in his family was immersed in all of it. As a child, he went to Indian Tribal Powwows, heard country music artists at the county fair and watched his favorite cowboys at the rodeo every year. This was the culture he was born and raised in, and it influences the sound of his music. Having said that, his music isn't limited to one genre; but draws on elements from country, pop, rock and folk music. He began writing songs when he was very young but he became a more serious writer because of his love for classical poetry. He hopes that perhaps the listener can find some inspiration in the words of his music to live a better moment; and perhaps that may lead to another better moment and then 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”.
The SoundofReason 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, The SoundofReason is aiming to fill that void preaching consciousness and political awareness with catchy melodies and 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 realised 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 TheSoundofReason, a name which reflected a meaning behind their music in a time where musical reason was nowhere to be heard. In a very short time The SoundofReason have already started to make a name for themselves on an international level.
Prince Abdi is the only Somali comic working in the UK. He is a relative newcomer who has the material and confidence of that of full time comic. He has a lovely style in his delivery – pacy, upbeat and infectious – that makes the audience warm to him. Set pieces such as his Bollywood and Nollywood reconstruction capitalise on that energy well.