Sunday, 29 March 2015
In this article http://www.hmv.com/music/axwell-ingrosso-give-an-update-on-the-progress-of-their-debut-album the guys explained that they are still working on their album which should be released later this year. I was particularly excited to read that Salem and Vincent Pontare will be the featured vocalists on this album, rather than any 'big' name collaborations. I am delighted to see Axwell and Ingrosso supporting their fellow Swedish artists, particularly two as talented as Salem and Vincent.
When the album is released I will review it on Planet Salem of course :)
I can't believe that those five years have passed so quickly...
Wednesday, 25 February 2015
Congratulations to Salem, Pontus and Glada Hudik on receiving this award - well done!!
Monday, 27 October 2014
Monday, 16 June 2014
Anyway, the big news for us Salem fans is that the song features Salem on lead vocals - and it sounds like a real summer smash hit!
Friday, 21 February 2014
Firstly, the soundtrack album of "Trollkarlen Från Oz", the musical written by Salem and Pontus de Wolfe for the Glada Hudik theatre, was released last month. The album features an all-star cast of well-known Swedish musical talents from past and present, including Tommy Körberg, Sarah Dawn Finer, Lisa Nilsson, Ulrik Munther and Eva Dahlgren. Salem and Pontus appear on a couple of tracks, "Ouvertyr" and "Jag Vill Gå Bredvid Dig" both of which have a retro, early 70's feel.
The musical is the subject of a new TV4 documentary series, "Trollkarlen Från Glada Hudik" and if you live in Sweden you can watch it at http://www.tv4.se/trollkarlen-fr%C3%A5n-glada-hudik however those of us living outside Sweden can't watch it due to TV4's "not available in your region" rules.
The other thing I wanted to mention was the disappearance of www.salemalfakir.com, Salem's official website, which has existed for the past few years. I don't know the reasons why the site has been closed down, and although I prefer to write about facts rather than rumours on this blog, I would guess that it has closed for one of the following reasons:
- Is it because Salem no longer performing as a solo recording artist? It has now been almost four years since "Ignore This" was released - it feels like a lifetime! - and after his well-deserved break after years of touring and recording, he may have decided to take his career in a different direction: to focus on writing songs for other artists. Salem has always collaborated with other artists of course, but his songwriting partnership with Vincent Pontare and Magnus Lidehäll (rewarded this week with a Swedish Grammy) has really come to the fore this year, writing for established artists Petter and Veronica Maggio, but also "Younger" for a hotly-tipped new singer Seinabo Sey. It's worth noting that Vincent has also put his solo music career on hold...
- Could Salem be ready to relaunch his solo career, perhaps with a new album and a new record company? Could this mean a brand new official website is on the way?
So what's happening? We need answers!!
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Salem, Vincent Pontare and Magnus Lidehäll - the songwriting team behind last year's albums by Petter and Veronica Maggio - deservedly picked up the 'best composer' award at Wednesday night's Grammisgalan.
Congratulations once again Salem, and it's good to know that your career as a songwriter for other artists continues to go from strength to strength!
Sunday, 1 December 2013
Of course things have been very quiet here as Salem hasn't released any new solo material for a long time, however he has been very busy collaborating with other artists, notably Avicii.
Salem provided the uncredited vocals on "You Make Me" which reached no.5 in the UK singles chart. This song was also a big hit in a number of other European charts.
Now the follow-up song, "Hey Brother" is doing well in the European charts and has already been a massive hit in Sweden. Salem does not sing on this track but he co-wrote it, along with another of my favourite Swedish artists, Vincent Pontare.
It's great to see Salem having so much success as a songwriter, however it would be great if he could come back as a solo artist again....maybe in 2014?
Sunday, 27 October 2013
Sunday, 29 September 2013
Unfortunately Salem doesn't seem to be credited on the single over here, and he doesn't appear in the video either :( You can check out the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GADx4Hy-Gg which has had almost 7 million views so far.
Sunday, 1 September 2013
Glada Hudik will be touring Sweden with this production in 2014. More information at http://www.gladahudikteatern.se/ where I also found this nice picture of Salem.
Salem has been very busy collaborating with other artists. Apart from Avicii, he has co-written and produced the latest single by one of Sweden's best female artists, Veronica Maggio.
"Sergels Torg" is the name of the song, which is in the Swedish iTunes top 10 at the moment. The song mixes Veronica's distinctive vocal sound with that special kind of magic and emotion which we expect from Salem, and the result is a lovely, uptempo (yet somehow sad) pop song.
It's been a long time since there has been anything to write about on Planet Salem, but thanks to top Swedish DJ and producer Avicii, that's all about to change. For "You Make Me", the song co-written by Avicii, Salem and another one of my favourite Swedish artists Vincent Pontare, is going to be the follow-up single to Avicii's worldwide smash hit song of this summer, "Wake Me Up" which featured the vocals of Aloe Blacc. So you can expect to hear Salem's voice on the radio, all over the world!
"You Make Me" has of course been around the internet for some time - the title was originally thought to be "Someone Like You" or "All My Life". The song will probably not be as big a crossover hit as "Wake Me Up" although it is still very accessible and as Avicii's popularity has soared over recent months, it is guaranteed a place on radio playlists.
I just wish that Avicii would credit his guest vocalists more, but it is just great to know that he is still making music, even in collaboration with other artists. Although Salem had previously collaborated with Avicii on "Silhouettes" (which really deserved to be more successful than it was), "You Make Me" will really make people sit up and take notice of Salem's musical talent.
Saturday, 23 February 2013
I've been a big Lena fan for many, many years so I was delighted to see the show. I thought you'd also like to know that Jakob and Nisse from Salem's band were amongst Lena's backing band on this TV special!
Sunday, 10 February 2013
Saturday, 27 October 2012
Sunday, 9 September 2012
Tracklisting: (courtesy of www.cdon.com)
Wednesday, 5 September 2012
There were two very, very, very special guests on the show tonight: his lovely wife Caroline and baby girl Greta. Caroline sounded so natural, calm and professional. (I'm not sure if she has any radio presenting experience, but she was as good as any radio presenter!) Salem of course also has a very natural talent for presenting both on TV and radio and I wouldn't be surprised if he moves into that area at some time in his career. Maybe Salem and Caroline could become a presenting duo - they both sounded great on the radio together.
As for the week's playlists, they're filled with the kind of musical diversity which you would expect. Loved hearing Bruce Springsteen's "Human Touch" and of course a certain song called "Euphoria" which I think you all may be familiar with :))
I just wanted to share this very nice picture of Salem, Caroline and Greta, which was published on the Musikguiden i P3 website tonight. A fabulous family! (picture courtesy of www.sverigesradio.se)
Sunday, 2 September 2012
This is excellent news and I can't wait to hear the song. Sarah is a fabulous singer with a lovely, warm personality, so it should be the perfect combination!
I wonder if Salem's forthcoming collaborations with Petra Marklund and Sarah have maybe inspired him to write his own material in Swedish? That would be a very significant and important step in his future career as a solo artist....
More info at http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=4067&artikel=5250071
Welcome back Salem!
Monday, 2 July 2012
Friday, 29 June 2012
More info at http://slussenspensionat.se/index.php where you can also find out about the impressive line-up of other Swedish artists playing at Slussens Pensionat this summer.
Two nights ago, Salem was one of the guests at Sven-Bertil Taube's concert at Gröna Lund, along with Sarah Dawn Finer. Check out some pictures of the event at Kulturbloggen: http://kulturbloggen.com/?p=56618
Sunday, 17 June 2012
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Although the song was released digitally in this country a couple of weeks ago, this week is the official release week for the song, so I wonder if it will climb back into the UK top 40 again? "Silhouettes" is on the BBC Radio 1 B-list playlist at the moment, whilst the current chart positions are no. 34 on the UK iTunes chart and no.44 in the Official UK top 40.
Top UK entertainment website Digital Spy has an interview with Avicii at http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/interviews/a386570/avicii-interview-im-not-the-new-david-guetta.html and this paragraph is of particular interest, for obvious reasons:-
Your new single 'Silhouettes' is a big, euphoric dance track - what's it inspired by?
"It's hard - some people get inspired by a feeling, but I'm mostly inspired by melodies. The person who co-produced this track with me is incredible - he can play every instrument you can think of. We took as much of that as we could and tried to make it dance-friendly and something different from what is in the charts now."
No names mentioned, but we know who he means :)
Let's hope that the coming weeks bring even more success for Tim and Salem's collaboration and that it becomes the worldwide dance hit of summer 2012.
Sunday, 13 May 2012
Monday, 7 May 2012
"Silhouettes" by Avicii, featuring Salem on vocals of course, entered the UK singles chart last night at no.26.
Grattis Salem (and Avicii of course) :))
Thursday, 3 May 2012
Wednesday, 2 May 2012
Tuesday, 1 May 2012
Further update to come later in the week. Of course, the official UK chart isn't announced till Sunday so we won't know till then if Salem has finally made it into the British charts :)
Monday, 30 April 2012
Sunday, 29 April 2012
We've looked forward to this for a long long time - and now it's finally here! "Silhouettes" is Avicii's follow-up to the hugely successful "Levels" and of course it's even better, because it features Salem on guest vocals.
Take a look at the cover, though - there is no mention of Salem, no credit for his vocal contribution, and the same goes for the download sites too. Which is quite sad as this is probably the biggest chance Salem has had to achieve international success. Oh well :(
Monday, 26 March 2012
Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Monday, 12 March 2012
You can get your tickets at Dramaten's website: link here.
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
To the newest member of the Al Fakir family....welcome to the world! I'm sure all the readers of Planet Salem will join me in wishing Salem, Caroline and their lovely little baby lots of love and happiness.
Stort grattis! :))
Wednesday, 29 February 2012
The one and only Kristian Luuk will be compere for the evening and other guests appearing include Erato (best known for their very original cover of Robyn's "Call Your Girlfriend") and Strings Attached.
Thursday, 23 February 2012
Monday, 20 February 2012
Unfortunately I haven't been able to find the ad on the internet yet, and I don't know if it will only be broadcast in Scotland or throughout the rest of the UK. One thing though, they need to turn the music up so that nobody misses hearing this great song :)
Saturday, 18 February 2012
You can watch the show at http://svtplay.se/t/102959/pa_sparet
and it will be available on SVT's website until 18th March.
Last night was a particularly great one for Salem fans as he was also appearing on "The Voice" at the same time as "På spåret". Unfortunately I haven't been able to watch "The Voice" as TV4 does not allow viewers outside Sweden to watch shows on its website :(
Thursday, 16 February 2012
Edit 17.02.12: go to SR's archive page at http://sverigesradio.se/sida/sandningsarkiv.aspx?programid=2024 and click on the link to today's programme.
Sunday, 5 February 2012
Wednesday, 1 February 2012
Thursday, 26 January 2012
Unfortunately, those of us living outside Sweden aren't allowed to watch the show oon TV4's website :(
Monday, 23 January 2012
Thursday, 19 January 2012
As we all know, Salem will present the P3 Guldgalan this coming Saturday in Gothenburg. Despite being previously nominated, Salem has never won anything at the P3 Guld awards - but said in the interview that he always wanted to win the award (known as the "Guldmicken") for the year's best live artist. Salem describes the P3 Guld awards as a very special event because of the connection between the radio listeners and the awards, and he feels at home there.
Salem also reveals in the interview that we're going to have to wait a bit longer for a new solo album - after working very hard over recent years and releasing three albums in four years, Salem took a long awaited break in 2011: "...I went from working 150 percent to 80-90%, but I found a great many fun collaborations over the last year.". Which included his book written with Pontus De Wolfe of course. The interview states that Salem will take time to figure out the next step in his career...
Meanwhile there's another interview over at Gaffa.se: http://gaffa.se/nyhet/56541
Salem talks about dogs, and breakfast, and his busy schedule in December and January. Salem also says that becoming a presenter is a new thing for him but he now feels confident to speak rather than play. "....It will be interesting, it's going to be exciting, it's a new experience."
I'm sure this will be a very successful experience for you Salem, and that you will be able to add "presenter" to your list of many talents. Good luck for Saturday night!
Tuesday, 17 January 2012
Sunday, 15 January 2012
It won't be long now until the big night - don't forget to tune into P3 next Saturday at 20:00 Swedish time, and the show will be broadcast on SVT1 at 21:00. It's sure to be a great show featuring some of the best in Swedish music and of course it will be presented by our most favourite Swedish artist.
Sunday, 1 January 2012
I'd love to see this song getting a full international release eventually. Avicii is massively popular at the moment, "Levels" is a huge success and made the top 5 in the UK singles chart recently, so this could be the perfect way for Salem to finally get his big international breakthrough!
Thursday, 22 December 2011
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
You can read the interview at
And here's the picture....
(picture by Emil Jönsson, courtesy of http://www.nojesguiden.se/)
By the way, here's a tip for non-Swedish speaking readers of this blog who would like an easier translation of Swedish articles/interviews - I've just started using Google Chrome which has a translate function. If you go to a website which is in Swedish, it will ask you automatically if you wish to translate it into English. I guess this will work in reverse if you live in Sweden and want to translate English articles into Swedish?
Thursday, 15 December 2011
I've listened to the song a couple of times now and it's already stuck in my brain. Salem's melodic chorus fits very well into the electronic beats and commercial hip-hop style. Yet again, the man's musical diversity and versatility knows no bounds. It's a great record and I hope it becomes a massive hit!
Sunday, 11 December 2011
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Thursday, 8 December 2011
Monday, 5 December 2011
Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Meanwhile, what's Salem up to? Well, according to this website http://www.stjarnklart.se/ he is appearing in a show called Stjärnklart, along with a number of Swedish music legends past and present - Anders Berglund, Shirley Clamp, Carola, Orup, The Poodles and Tommy Körberg. The show started its run at the Stockholm Konserthuset last night and runs until 3rd December then moves on to the De Geer in Norrköping on 6th December, then to Konserthuset in Malmö from 7th to 10th December, and finally to Gothenburg Congress Centre from 15th to 17th December. If any of you have been (or will be going) to this show in any of the above cities, your comments about it are very welcome!
Finally, Pontus De Wolfe is doing some shows at PUB in Stockholm during December, along with pianist Fredrik Hermansson. Pontus will present songs from his forthcoming album and will also be joined by special guests who will perform some songs which "fit into the Christmas mood"
Guests: Magnus Carlson from Weeping Willows (Sunday 4th December, 13:00)
Britta Persson (Sunday 11th December, 13:00)
Anna Järvinen (Sunday 18th December, 13:00)
And then on Friday 23rd December at 13:00......SALEM!!
You will also be able to buy signed copies of the book at these shows.
A little personal note here: PUB is a big department store on Hötorget in Stockholm, and I remember it very well because back in 2007 when I came to Stockholm on holiday, I stayed in the Rica Hotel which is upstairs from PUB. It was (and probably still is) a great hotel :))
Sunday, 27 November 2011
You can definitely hear the Salem-influence in the song, and based on the clip it sounds pretty special indeed.
Monday, 21 November 2011
There will be words and music from Salem and Pontus, and the evening will commence with a discussion about literature, featuring literary critic Ulrika Kärnborg.
More info: http://www.mynewsdesk.com/se/pressroom/langenskiolds/event/view/nk-bokhandel-bjuder-in-till-stjaernspaeckad-vad-aer-kvaell-35142
Sunday, 20 November 2011
If you remember, a few weeks ago we saw pictures of Salem and Eric Saade in the studio. At that time I was wondering if they were working together or not. Well, the mystery has been solved. Salem has co-written one of the tracks on Eric's forthcoming album "Saade Volume 2". The song is called "Rocket Science",and was written with Jason Gill, Eric Saade and Julimar Santos.
I can't comment on the song as I haven't heard it yet, but I've got a feeling it will be great!
The excellent Scandipop http://www.scandipop.co.uk/ will be streaming clips from the album starting tomorrow so we don't have too long to wait till we hear it. Enjoy!
Thursday, 17 November 2011
Don't forget to check out Pontus de Wolfe's blog at http://nojesguiden.se/blogs/pontus-de-wolfe where you can read all about Pontus and Salem's book and musical project, his lovely wife Elsa, and his thoughts on music and other popular culture.
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
Read more about it here:
This is one of Sweden's best and most credible music award ceremonies, celebrating Sweden's best new music. The P3 Guldgalan is due to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
Salem was only asked two weeks ago if he wanted to present the ceremony, and stated that the ceremony has always been close to his heart. Salem went on to say that he was convinced to accept the job as it would give him the chance to put his own personal stamp on the ceremony. He will co-write the script with Pontus Andersson.
Will Salem perform at the ceremony? He answered: "It is too early to predict that, this is still too fresh. Just now I'll just try to concentrate on managing to be a presenter. It is the first time for me".
Salem also told P3: "Actually, I am a little sorry I never has won a P3 Guld award but now, I have the world's best consolation prize"..."I feel like the right man in the right place...I am just curious about how it's going to be like everyone else".
Check out http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=3964&artikel=4803430 for a video interview with Salem.
We're looking forward to seeing Salem as a presenter - yet another talent to add to an already long list! Here are some pictures from Morgonpasset i P3's web page from 16.11.2011. (courtesy Jonas Ekblom/SR)
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Monday, 31 October 2011
The event takes place at 18:00 Swedish time and entry is free.
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
Salem - have a fantastic birthday, and I hope it's a very special day for you. Don't worry about turning 30 years old, as the best times are yet to come!!
I'm sure all the Facebook gang will have a big celebration too - have a great day on Thursday!
Sunday, 23 October 2011
Wednesday, 5 October 2011
Saturday, 17 September 2011
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Monday, 12 September 2011
Sunday, 11 September 2011
Salem and Pontus will also be presenting their new book at an event at Pocket Shop, Götgatan, Stockholm this coming Wednesday, 14th September between 19:00 and 20:00. More info at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=138234342935635 Don't miss it!
Here's a short article from Dagens Nyheter: http://www.dn.se/kultur-noje/musik/salem-al-fakir-slapper-musikbok
Wednesday, 31 August 2011
We finally got to hear the result of their musical collaboration when Salem performed with Pontus de Wolfe on tonight's Rockbjörnen gala. The song is called "Jag e frågan du e svaret". Remember these are only my personal thoughts, so here we go...
After over 4 years as a Salem fan, I never thought the day would come when I would be disappointed by any musical project he was involved in. But when I watched this performance, all I felt was disappointment. The main problem with the song was Pontus' vocals, which were nervous and, to use a British term, "ropey" - in other words, pretty poor. On the plus side it was nice to see Salem involved in a Swedish-language track, as I would really love to hear him write and sing in Swedish at some point in his solo career. I understand that Salem may want to be in the background for a change and let Pontus take the spotlight, but it makes no sense when Salem has such a great voice and should be singing the lead vocals instead.
Maybe it is unfair to judge the song on a live version, but I can only hope that the recorded version of the song will be a vast improvement.
Listen and judge for yourself at http://www.aftonbladet.se/webbtv/noje/musik/rockbjornen/article13556387.ab
What did you think of the song/performance tonight? Your comments (as always) are welcome!
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Sunday, 7 August 2011
Fridah Jönsson gives a 4-star review of Salem and his special guests at Dalhalla, although she's not so keen on September's performance. There is also a nice photo slide-show from the concert in this article.
By the way, can any of you tell me if Salem duetted with Oskar and/or September and if so, what songs did they play?
Also, what did you think of Salem's special guests Oskar and September? Did you enjoy them or did they disappoint you? Leave your comments here.
Saturday, 6 August 2011
http://www.dalademokraten.se/Noje/Nyheter/Succe-igen---Salem-Al-Fakir/(the above picture is courtesy of Dala-Demokraten)
Reviewer Bengt Pettersson awards 4 out of 5 for last night's sell-out concert to an audience of 4000 fans. "Salem Al Fakir did it again. Success at Dalhalla. He managed to get everyone to forget that it rained during the first half of the concert and gave a totally brilliant music show".
The reviewer went on to say that "Brooklyn Sun" was one of the highlights, particularly with the accompaniment of the Gävle Symphony Orchestra. The reviewer also particularly enjoyed a new instrumental piece "Dina dagar är räknade" ("Your days are numbered") which Salem performed together with Sami and the orchestra.
Also I found out something new in this review which I didn't know before - September revealed last night that she attended the same school as Salem. I can only agree with Mr Pettersson's comment - "they must have had a good music teacher".
Friday, 5 August 2011
Salem told Expressen: "I felt I needed a break from myself". After a hectic 2010, he felt he needed a break - "Since 2006 I have been out there and played every spring, summer and autumn....it was on the verge of becoming too much. I felt that now, do I need a break. But it is also good for the audience, so that they do not tire of me for good".
Don't worry Salem, we will never tire of you!!
In Dala-Demokraten http://www.dalademokraten.com/Noje/Nyheter/Salem-Al-Fakir-tar-en-paus-fran-semestern/ Salem says "It worked so well with the Gävle Symphony Orchestra last time and it was so amazingly nice to play there, so getting to Dalhalla again was a dream I had. It's going to be outrageously fun, if we may say so"..."It is one thing when you're out there and playing for an entire summer, then we are not nervous. But now that you only do one evening with such fine guests, Orchestra and large audience it feels like a big task. But I try to take it as calmly as possible and have fun along the way".
The article reveals that Oskar Linnros and September will play their own songs during the concert, and we can also expect a musical collaboration between the three artists.
Thursday, 4 August 2011
This is my 1000th post on Planet Salem, so I wanted it to be something very special. And it doesn't get any more special than this.
For all of you who are going, I hope you have an amazing time. As always, your reviews, comments, setlists, emails, photos are all welcome. Please let me know if Salem plays any new songs too! Planet Salem may have been a quiet place over the last few months but with your help we will bring it back to life!!
Finally, Salem.....good luck for tomorrow night, and come, come, come back soon :)
Saturday, 23 July 2011
Check it out on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qJshrkD7ROw
Friday, 15 July 2011
The guys will be on stage at 16:45 Finnish time. If you are going to the festival, remember to leave your comments here after the show.
Salem will also be playing at another festival outside Sweden this summer - you can see him at the Periferifestivalen in Bergen, Norway on Saturday, 27th August (thanks to Madelene via Salem's Facebook page for the tip!)
And then, of course, it's only three weeks until Dalhalla....
Sunday, 3 July 2011
If any of you were at this gig, please tell us what you thought of it!
Thursday, 30 June 2011
Tuesday, 21 June 2011
Are you all missing Salem as much as I am? Of course it won't be long until Dalhalla, which is just a few weeks away. Don't forget to book your tickets at https://sale.se.iticket.com/Sale/ShowRequestedArrangement.iticket?pCompanyId=3200&pArrangementId=364
Wednesday, 15 June 2011
However I checked the official Popkalaset site at http://www.popkalaset.com/ which does not list Salem among this year's artists which include Petter, September, Von Benzo (featuring Jay Smith) and Lisa Miskovsky.
All you Salem fans in Finland won't have too long to wait though, as he's playing the Vaasa Rockfestival on Saturday 16th July.
Monday, 9 May 2011
If you haven't got your ticket yet, these are still available, go to https://sale.se.iticket.com/Sale/ShowRequestedArrangement.iticket?pCompanyId=3200&pArrangementId=364
Monday, 2 May 2011
If you are reading this and you're on Facebook, get along to www.facebook.com/salemalfakir and click the 'Like' button if you haven't already done so.
In other news, you can still listen to Salem's Klubb Molto gig at http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=4067&artikel=4475188 which should be available on the SR archive for the next three to four weeks.
Right, that's all for now. I'm now on holiday and will be going to Pisa in Italy for a few days spring break. Planet Salem will return on Monday 9th May. If there is any big news about Salem between now and then, please let me know!
Thursday, 21 April 2011
Of course you can still listen to the same show on P3 next Thursday night (see previous post http://planetsalem.blogspot.com/2011/04/thursday-28th-april-salems-klubb-molto.html)
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Make a note in your diaries for Thursday 28th April from 22:00-23:00 Swedish time (21:00-22:00 here in the UK) when you can hear the full hour-long show on Swedish Radio P3's Musikguiden. I'm sure it will bring back many fond memories of Salem and the band's autumn/winter club tour and give those of us who weren't there a chance to enjoy all the hits and more.
There is also a fine interview on Klubb Molto's website at http://moltolive.nu/i-hissen-med-salem-al-fakir/ - of course we would all like to be stuck in a lift with Salem ;)
In other news, don't forget that you can still watch "Kusin Al Fakir" at SVT Play until 24th April. http://svtplay.se/v/2367731/k_special/kusin_al_fakir It really is a fascinating documentary and even if I couldn't really understand most of what was being said, I still managed to get the "feel" of the film and the intensity of Peter's belief and passion in his music. I hope that he doesn't give up on his dream and that he "keeps on rocking on the freeway with a wheel of rock".
Friday, 8 April 2011
Why am I telling you about this? Well, the featured vocalist on the song is none other than....Salem!
There is no release date for the song as yet, and no studio version available, but I found a video clip recorded at the Miami festival: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pVBA3li7NQ
Sunday, 27 March 2011
Kissey Asplund meanwhile has covered "Count Me Out" in a completely different style from the original: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsmhqewzVX8
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Saturday, 19 March 2011
Check out Pontus' blog at Nöjesguiden, http://nojesguiden.se/blogs/pontus-de-wolfe/vad-aer-musik
Thursday, 17 March 2011
Keep On Walking
All Day Love
Thanks to Livestage TV over at Vimeo.com...and thanks to the ever-wonderful Scandipop for the tip.
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
The Ark will also be making their final Finnish appearance at this festival, so if you live in Finland it's definitely not to be missed.
I don't have any more information at the moment regarding which day and time Salem will be on stage, but will bring you this info as soon as I get it.
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
Monday, 7 March 2011
The memories of March 2010 are still fresh in my mind: the excitement and anticipation of going to Gothenburg (to see Salem for the second time), and the frustrating wait for the album to drop through my letterbox. It was also the month in which I wrote more Planet Salem posts than any other in the history of this blog.
March has been a very important month for Salem fans, as it was in this month in 2009 that "Astronaut" was released. Back then...there was the excitement and anticipation of going to Gothenburg in April (to see Salem for the first time) and the frustrating wait for the album to drop through my letterbox :)
So it feels pretty strange that this year (and particularly this time of year) that there's no album and no trip to Sweden. It all feels a bit empty somehow, particularly as there won't be much to write about on this blog between now and August, but I've got plenty of things to keep me occupied during Planet Salem's break...notably my other blogs EuropeCrazy and EuropeCrazy's Random Ramblings so check them out!
By the way...at the moment, "This Is Who I Am" is at no. 122 and "Ignore This" is at no.135 in the Swedish iTunes album chart, whilst in the singles chart Salem and Josephine's version of "I'm So Happy" is at no.115.
Before I go, I just want to say thanks again to all of you for supporting this blog - and to you, Salem, I hope you have a happy and relaxing break over the next few months and that you get the inspiration you need for your next musical adventure, whenever that may be! And of course Planet Salem will be here for that next exciting chapter of the Salem Al Fakir story. :)
Reviewer Mikael Mjörnberg writes that "the sum is greater than the parts...(Salem) tripping excitedly on stage together with the conductor Hans Ek, and then they spend, the next more than two hours devoted to filling in any gaps and they lift the music a dimension higher. Responsive and challenging....Salem Al Fakir's pop music and the hefty orchestra is simply an equation that goes very well together."
The reviewer did not feel that it worked as well for special guest September: "she did a good job, there's no question about that, but her voice and character does not melt together with the Symphony Orchestra...the feeling is that she sings to the accompaniment of the orchestra rather than becoming part of it."
The reviewer goes on to say: "(Salem) stands for the really spectacular and it creates a whole in a completely different way when he pulls the strings. That his songs make themselves great with the orchestra should be clear by now, but some are obviously better than others...Salem sings beautifully and Hans Ek has made excellent arrangements for most of the songs."
"Hans Ek bounces like an excited football fan on the conductor's podium. He manages to sneak in some Ennio Morricone in the show and in the middle of the second act there's even an incomparable orchestral version of the old theme music to "Das Boot" (as the majority of humanity, of course, rather know as techno hit by German U96 with the same name from 1991...it is very heavy in comparison to Salem's otherwise pretty neat song material, but it's very good. That said, Salem Al Fakir and symphony orchestra fill in each other's gaps. The boundaries between the orchestra and gathering rock concert blur and then the sum is naturally greater than the parts".
In other news, "Split My Personality" is the highest new entry in this week's "Svensktoppen" on SR P4. A little interview snippet on http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=2023&artikel=4366360 :"...my girlfriend complains right now because we never listen to any music any longer, as I'll soon get started writing new music. But I have just become a dog owner, a small puppy named Otis, so the plan is that I'm going to start working when he sleeps!". Of course Otis probably isn't so small anymore!!
Saturday, 5 March 2011
As you know, it'll be another orchestral collaboration. This time Salem and the band will be performing along with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Hans Ek. There will also be a very special guest appearing tonight - none other than Petra Marklund a.k.a. September.
Petra and Salem are interviewed in today's Folkbladet: http://www.folkbladet.se/kulturnoje/artikel.aspx?articleid=5555902
Petra said: "Salem is such a talented artist and musician. With Symphony Orchestra and conductor Hans Ek, it became an attractive proposition. I could only say yes".
The interview states that "....(Salem) defends himself against being called "ambassador for classical music". Salem works instead to tear down the wall between classical music and popular music. He does not care about genres."
Salem: "Collaborations with orchestras are extremely fun......the orchestra is very involved, and we are as a single band. It will be a fairly long concert, we realized yesterday". When asked about working with Petra, Salem said "She is really nice and it feels great to be working. Then I play music again. I like to just play the piano and not always sing".
The interview also mentions a previous live visit to Norrköping for the "Munken In The Park" summer show: "...it is an event he remembers with particular horror - and that was important in the sense that he has learned from it.
Salem: "I forgot a lot of the lyrics. We had a crisis meeting afterwards. I had problems with concentration and was not happy afterwards. It was an insight. I fought hard after that to get the lyrics completely right".
Remember to get in touch - reviews, comments, set lists, photographs are all very welcome and I'll publish as many as I can.
Salem - good luck with the show!
This will be Salem's last show in Sweden until August, when he appears at Dalhalla - so I hope all of you have a very special night :))
Monday, 28 February 2011
Not a new song of course; by now it's an old favourite, but it's a new version of "I'm So Happy" - this time as a duet between Salem and Josephine Bornebusch. Josephine is one of the stars of the massive Swedish hit TV comedy "Solsidan" and of course "I'm So Happy" is the theme tune to the show, so I guess it makes sense to put the two together :)
It's available to download from iTunes at the following link:
The only other snippet of news I have today (thanks to Madelene for the tip, via Facebook) is that Adam, Jakob and Nisse appeared as backing band for another of my favourite Swedish artists, September, when she performed "Resuscitate Me" on SVT's "Go'kväll".
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
I don't know how this has happened, but could someone please fix this problem? Maybe Salem should change his MySpace page back to www.myspace.com/salemalfakir in order to avoid this happening again.
Saturday, 12 February 2011
Thursday, 10 February 2011
Saturday, 5 February 2011
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Wednesday, 2 February 2011
The gig began at 8.00pm UK time - 10.00pm in Finland. The band were all on stage, but one important member was missing :) After an enthusiastic introduction by the presenters, the band launched into the familiar intro of "Part Of It" which appears to have replaced "Red Rock" as the opening number. Eventually Salem entered the stage to a very warm reception from the audience, who appeared to be a mixture of the devoted, the enthusiastic and the curious.
As befits his now-official status as Sweden's best dressed man, Salem was as stylish and handsome as ever, dressed in a dark suit, dark tie and white shirt with of course his usual braces. His hair has also grown a little since his recent haircut too, and I'm quite happy about that. The guys were also as well dressed as ever - they really are a smart looking crew, aren't they!
Anyway enough talk about the very appealing visual aspects of the show...let's talk about the music which is the most important thing!
As I said earlier, "Part Of It" kicked off the show, with pre-recorded backing vocals in addition to the live band, although I thought this worked very well in a live context. I liked Salem's hand gesture when he sang that famous line "tell your friends how big....", however he appeared pretty restrained during this song, putting extra concentration into his vocal performance. The electronic loop running through the song then cleverly segued into a new version of the ever-popular and anthemic "It's True" (which I guess he played during his recent club tour). Mixing rock and dance influences, I thought this was a particularly impressive version of the song. Of course, Salem being Salem, he mixed up the first and second verses of the song. Aah, he never disappoints ;) Anyway what did surprise me was its inclusion at such an early stage in the set, as we're probably more used to hearing it towards the end.
Next came the return of "Twelve Fingers" of course one of my favourite Salem songs and always a welcome addition in the live set. Again slightly reworked with a new keyboard line running through it: a good version - but being completely honest here, it's probably not my favourite version of the song. Of course that's just my own personal taste and I'm sure many of you will disagree! Again he got the first and second verses of the song mixed up but we expect that by now!!
A more traditional version of "It's Only You (Part II)" came next, which immediately was recognised by many in the audience, right from the opening notes onwards. I particularly liked Salem and Adam's joint vocals on the "if you ever will be mine" part of the song.
Then Salem removed his tie! He told the audience about the last time he tried to get to Helsinki for a gig, and of course we all know how that turned out :( however we're so happy that he's here, he is here, it makes us happy! Which is a cue for a song....the new version of "I'm So Happy" to be precise, which is built around a rolling guitar riff and Adam is certainly the star of this song. The new version brings a further contrast to a song which always had a strong contrast to start with: the original's bitter lyrics against the happy singalong melody, but as I said in a previous post on here, there is now a sad, regretful feel to the new version. Nevertheless it doesn't stop the crowd singing along.
Tonight I was paying particular attention to the band's performance as a whole. On the two occasions I've been to see Salem live, the first time was his previous band line-up, then the second time was the current line-up but with the orchestra, so I just realised tonight that I'd never actually watched a Salem concert with his current band line-up, playing a 'band gig' I guess! Of course it goes without saying that they are an extremely tight, well-rehearsed and accomplished group of musicians, who provide a consistently reliable musical backing to the main man himself.
One song added to the live set in the recent club tour was "This Is For" which again relied strongly on pre-recorded vocal backing tracks however worked very well with live instrumentation. (In a similar vein, I had hoped to hear "Bloody Breakfast" tonight, which was featured in the club tour. Oh well, maybe some other time). Anyway Salem removed his glasses, and the band launched into the album version of current single "Split My Personality". I thought the song might have been reworked slightly in the style of the highly acclaimed Bassflow remix, but it still worked very well particularly in this band-version.
Salem put his glasses back on...however later on in the set he removed his glasses again and also removed his jacket, to reveal the very familiar braces - Salem's trademark style!
"Astronaut" was also very well-received - I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Finnish fans were so familiar with his pre-"Ignore This" material. Not really much to say about this song except that it was brilliant as usual.
Followed by "Good Song" which as if you need reminding, is my favourite of all Salem songs. I tend to be a little more critical of my favourite songs if the live versions are anything less than perfect: no need for criticism here though, as Salem's vocals were jazzy and soulful as ever, I liked the vocal harmonies on the chorus, and musically it was just spot-on, with a dazzling synth solo by Salem. He may be more restrained now in his live performances, but there were still the occasional moments tonight when he went into "mad-professor" mode, throwing himself over the keyboard or staring upwards into the air, or headbanging.
One of the main highlights for me tonight was "4 O'Clock", which was based on the Adrian Lux remix of the song, which is probably my favourite version of it. Again the crowd loved this one too.
By this point the crowd were completely eating out of Salem's hand and they welcomed "Roxy" like an old friend. . Even this song got a little dance-makeover with new little keyboard lines running through it.
And finally....what else but "Keep On Walking" to close the show, which was rapturously received by everyone at Korjaamo. He's bound to be sick of singing this song by now, but you wouldn't know it as he still puts his heart and soul into every single performance of it, making it sound as fresh as it was when we first heard it in full, some 362 days ago if I remember correctly :)
Salem, Nisse, Jakob and Adam then took their bows and left the stage, but the very appreciative audience wanted more, as we all did! I think the presenter said something like "scream if you want him back" and boy, did they scream. The band came back on stage for one more number, an energetic "Virgin Mary" which was a foot-tapping and fabulous end to the evening.
Unfortunately that really was the end, no more encores. Still I guess that Salem and the band could play for four hours, but we'd still be sad when it ended; however you also have that exhilarated feeling at the end of a Salem show, with the realisation that you've been part of a truly special experience.
Salem Al Fakir remains a charismatic and outstandingly talented artist and this terrific show just proved, yet again, that he is the very best, backed by an excellent band who just get better and better at everything they do. Thank you all for a wonderful night, and thanks to YLE for webcasting the show worldwide so that we were all able to see it :))
Go to http://yle.fi/extrem/radio/ for the live stream of tonight's Radio X3m 'Svenska Talande Klubben' broadcast live from Korjaamo in Helsinki. Father McKenzie are now on stage, and Salem and the band will be on stage at approximately 22:00 Finnish time/21:00 Swedish time/20:00 UK time.
Are you all as excited as I am????
By the way....if you go to http://yle.fi/extrem/artikel/musiknoje/38268-Vad-gor-Salem-med-ett-handfat-och-24-liter-dricka you'll find an article and brief video interview with Salem about his band's backstage rider. Which includes water, a washbasin and a wastepaper basket. Very rock n'roll :))))
There's also an article at http://yle.fi/extrem/artikel/musiknoje/38275-Soundcheck-med-Salem about the soundcheck and a little photostream too.
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
I found this post (dated 11th January) on their blog at http://www.fathermckenzie.se/ and I thought you might like this part of it: "Yesterday I got an e-mail from Svenska Talande Klubben in Helsinki and they asked us to be the supporting act for Salem Al Fakir (!!!!!!!). This is amazing news for us since Salem Al Fakir has always been one of our greatest Idols and role-models. The event will take place on the 2nd of February in Helsinki. Don´t miss it!!!!!"
They also have something else in common with Salem, as they are also competing in a national song contest...not Melodifestivalen but the 2011 Finnish Euroviisut, with "Good Enough", a high-quality pop song which definitely lives up to its name. The good news is that the band have made it through to the final, so I'd like to wish them all the best!
Check out www.fathermckenzie.se for more of their songs. If you like the intelligent piano-pop style of acts like Keane and Coldplay then I think you will like Father McKenzie too.
The programme will be broadcast live at http://yle.fi/extrem/ tomorrow from 20:00. This is the part where I get a bit confused: I guess this is Finnish time, which will mean it starts at 19:00 Swedish time, and 18:00 UK time? Of course Salem won't be on stage till later, and I'll bring more information nearer the time and a little bit of live-blogging too, as I'll be sitting in front of the computer, listening to the show. It will probably the only time that many of us will get to hear Salem play live again this year, so it's even more important that we all tune in. Or if you're a Salem fan and you live in or around Helsinki, show your support and get along to Korjaamo for what will be a great night. As usual, if you're going - enjoy the show and remember to tell us all about it. I'd like to hear from more of Salem's Finnish fans as I know there are a lot of you out there!
There were so many highlights in this 'behind the scenes' show - breakfast with Salem, old video footage, travelling to Gävle (good to see Mankan again too!), sharing his musical memories, getting ready for the orchestra show with Hans Ek, then getting some much-needed relaxation on the boat, travelling through those beautiful Stockholm waterways ...and finally, to close the show, a brilliant cover version of Sam Cooke's "Chain Gang" with his all-star band (featuring some very familiar faces if you're a Salem fan). It's great to hear Salem singing someone else's song for a change - one more reason why I really want him to do "Så mycket bättre" at some point in the future.
Of course it goes without saying that Salem was as charming and funny as ever, and his lovely personality shone through as always. I'm sure he'll have won many new fans after watching this show.
(Salem picture above is courtesy of Henrik Crona/SVT)