Thursday, 31 January 2008

Swedish Charts Update

In this week's Sverige Topplistan album chart, "This Is Who I Am" has gone down from no.9 to no.16, but has still had an impressive chart run with a total of 40 weeks spent in the chart out of the last 52 weeks since it was released.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Salem appearing @ Stockholm Citypriset tomorrow

The Stockholm City newspaper will hold its annual Citypriset award ceremony tomorrow night at Nalen in Stockholm. Salem will be appearing there as will Maia Hirasawa and Swedish rap's man of the moment, Adam Tensta. I don't really have much more information about this show at present, but I'll keep my eyes open for reports/photos etc this time tomorrow.

UPDATE: well, nothing to report - couldn't find any reviews/photos but I'm sure that Salem was wonderful as usual.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Swedish Charts Update - This week's Digilistan

In P3's download-version of the Swedish singles chart, "It's True" has slipped from no. 25 to no. 34 whilst "Good Song" falls from no.33 to no. 51. I suppose that both songs will drop out of the chart next week, and that will be it until the next single is released. (Hopefully sooner rather than later, I'm getting impatient!!)

"Good Song" video finally on YouTube!!

Here it is - it's well worth the wait!!!

No other news to report of course, apart from the fact that we failed to mention on 24.01.08 that "This Is Who I Am" was released exactly one year ago, a fact well worth celebrating!!

Thursday, 24 January 2008

No award tonight for Salem :-(

I watched the Rockbjörnen awards gala tonight (review over at EuropeCrazy) but anyway I had resigned myself to the possibility that Salem probably wouldn't get the Best Newcomer award. That award went to Måns Zelmerlöw but I’m not really complaining as I like him too, and as I said before it’s more of a populist award ceremony so it wasn’t entirely unexpected, as although Salem has gained many new fans he is still not at that level of mass popularity yet.

Anyway that's the Swedish awards season over till the same time next year. Fingers crossed that Salem gets his second album out in time for the next round of nominations, although I've also now resigned myself to the fact that it will probably be 2009 before the next one.

As I said last night, expect less frequent updates on this site, now that Salem will be taking some time out for a while.

Swedish charts update

In this week's Sverige Topplistan album chart "This Is Who I Am" has slipped from no.6 to no.9.

Whilst in the singles chart, "It's True" falls from no. 42 to no.56 and "Good Song" drops to no.59.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Rockbjörnen tomorrow / what happens next?

Hoping that Salem will take home the Best Newcomer prize at tomorrow night's Aftonbladet Rockbjörnen gala, although again I'm not 100% confident as (IMHO) I kind of get the feeling that this newspaper is not really too keen on him - I know it's the readers who choose, but again I've just got this vibe and I don't know why. Hope I am wrong though.

After tomorrow's ceremony - the last of the Swedish music awards for 2007 - it will be like the end of a chapter, closing the door on last year. I really don't know what's going to happen next for Salem, apart from the two Norwegian gigs next month. (I contacted EMI Sweden for info regarding future plans/possible UK launch/gigs but as yet have had no reply. Oh well.)

As Salem is (and always has been) such a workaholic, I'd guess that he'll now throw his considerable energy and talent into writing that eagerly awaited second album. No news on any Swedish tour dates or summer festival appearances yet, I could speculate on what that means ... but I won't. OK then, I will. Maybe recording new album? Maybe playing gigs outside Sweden? Maybe working with Snook again? Or maybe none of the above?

Whatever happens next, I'd anticipate that the postings will be less frequent over the next few months if Salem is taking some time out following what's been a high-profile, busy and successful year for him. Nevertheless this site will continue to post all the news, gossip and happenings in relation to Sweden's greatest living musical genius!!

(And don't forget to visit Salem's official site -

Sunday, 20 January 2008

2 live shows next month in Oslo

The annual by:Larm music conference/festival takes place next month in Oslo and will feature live performances by lots of Nordic artists. It's described as a Nordic version of the South x Southwest event. Salem will be there, playing two gigs as follows:

21.02.08 Cosmopolite, Oslo - at midnight!

22.02.08 Sentrum Scene, Oslo, at 21.30.

Hopefully this will bring his music to the attention of yet another new audience.

Swedish Charts Update - This week's Digilistan

Three of Salem's songs have re-entered Swedish Radio's Digilistan singles chart this week, following his big success at the Grammisgalan.

"It's True" is at no. 25, "Good Song" is at no. 33 and "This Is Who I Am" at no. 39.

Google-searching "Related blogs"...!

Tonight I went to as usual and typed in "Salem Al Fakir", to discover that this blog is the first one to come up on the page and has its own little mention under "Related Blogs".

My fifteen minutes of blogging-fame have arrived :-)))

P3 Guldgalan: empty-handed in Gothenburg, and I'm not happy.

I've been watching the P3 Guldgalan on SVT Play tonight (full review over at but all I want to say here is that Salem was robbed. Although I enjoyed the show, I was extremely disappointed that he didn't win anything at the P3 Guldgalan.

Next, and final, Swedish music awards ceremony for this year is Aftonbladet's Rockbjörnen (the Swedish people's music prize!) on Thursday 24th January, which is being broadcast live at on the night. Salem should, and must, win that best newcomer prize.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Back in the Swedish charts / P3 Guldgalan preview

Doing my Swedish charts update tonight for EuropeCrazy, I noticed that "This Is Who I Am" has gone back up to no.6 in the Swedish albums chart this week. It looks as if Salem has got himself a lot of new fans since the Grammisgalan, and people who didn't previously take much notice of his music are now beginning to listen and like what they hear. And so they should.

In the singles chart, "Good Song" has re-entered at no. 36 whilst "It's True" is no. 42 and "This Is Who I Am" is no. 43.

Tomorrow sees the P3 Guldgalan awards, Salem is nominated in two categories - Best Live Artist : other nominees are Säkert / Laakso / Mustasch / Timo Räisänen, and Best Male Artist: other nominees are Lars Winnerbäck: "Daugava" / Jens Lekman: "Night falls over Kortedala" / Mange Schmidt: "Känslan kommer tillbaks" / Danny: "". I'm not so confident about these awards as I was about the Grammys, because it's a more "alternative" kind of awards thing (well, apart from Danny !!), but nevertheless we wish Salem good luck for tomorrow night and will hopefully have some good news to report soon!

"You know it's true, I'm so good...!"

You know you've really made it when you get parodied. Meet Per-Arnez, a witty Swedish guy who has created a parody of Salem, named Sune Al Frisyr, with his own MySpace page ( featuring a song called "I'm So Good", the vocal and musical style of which should raise a chuckle and be very familiar to anyone who has ever heard the real Salem. :-)

I also had a right good laugh at the info section in this page, which should be a big in-joke to Salem fans, and will probably go over everyone else's head:

Band Members: Me and my frisyr and my brothers Göran Al Frisyr, Benny Al Frisyr, Sonny Al Frisyr and Åke Al Frisyr
Influences: The great Stevie Wonder, which I never actually have listened to...
Sounds Like: I don´t listen to music, so how would I know...???

Well I thought it was quite funny anyway. Obviously Salem does too, as he's one of Mr Al Frisyr's friends on his MySpace page!

Meanwhile over at the real Salem's website...I'm loving these little 'sitting here at home' posts, the last of which saw him sitting on the floor and wondering what he should eat. Can't wait for the next one Salem!

Monday, 14 January 2008

11th best selling album of 2007.

Today Expressen published the list of the 20 top selling albums in Sweden over the past year. "This Is Who I Am" was the 11th best selling album of the year. Kent's "Tillbaka Till Samtiden" is the top seller.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Here are some of Salem's videos, because I like them.

"Dream Girl": Salem's first single, released in the autumn of 2006. Timeless, classic song with an unforgettable piano hookline. The video is rather nice and is our first introduction to the man himself, complete with his wonderful big crazy hair:

"This Is Who I Am": title track of a rather brilliant album. Like all Salem's songs it's deceptively simple but full of musicality. The video sees him in many disguises and ends with the 'real' Salem, in his trademark pullover of course! :

"It's True" - the original version, not the Axwell/Ingrosso remix (I've now given up on this ever being released here). Such a positive and uplifting song, and a compelling video with Salem wearing a suit, walking into the sea. As you do! :

(The above three videos can also be seen at

The video of "Good Song" is only available on the EMI site (follow the link from ) - I'd recommend you check it out as it's very funny and perfectly shows off Salem's bright and bubbly personality. However, here is my favourite live performance of the best song of 2007, and possibly one of the most uplifting songs ever written, taken from last summer's Allsång pa Skansen TV show:

Swedish radio appearance yesterday.

Salem appeared on P3's "Morgonpasset" yesterday. The interview is on P3's website at, in Swedish of course. I'm going to listen later and attempt to guess what he was saying. (If anyone out there is able to translate this then I would appreciate it!!)

Some more pics of Salem from the Grammisgalan...

This is my 50th post since I started Planet Salem (of course I've written many more posts about him prior to 01.12.07 over at . so what better way to celebrate than with some more pictures of Salem from the Grammisgalan!!

Above: On the red carpet prior to Wednesday's show. Shame he wasn't feeling well because otherwise I thought he looked really nice - I liked his hair and his suit - very unusual for him to turn up without his trademark tie!

Above: getting presented with one of his awards by Martin Stenmarck. Two lovely Swedish men on stage at the one time!

Above: Salem winning yet another award. He deserves all of them and more!

Above: This is from Swedish Radio P4's site - isn't he just lovely!!

The next award ceremony is Swedish Radio P3's Guldgalan next Friday, 18.01.08 at which he is nominated for Best Male Artist and Best Live Act. This will be broadcast on P3 and SVT1 and once again we hope that he can add to his long list of trophies.

I read recently that Salem will now be doing up his house - he might need to build an extension to hold all these awards!!

Swedish lyrics versus English lyrics?

An article from today's Arbetarbladet today, in which the writer Hans Carstensen suggests that Salem, and other Swedish lyricists like him who write in the English language, should switch to Swedish in order to truly lyrically express themselves. The writer stated that Salem deserved his Grammisgalan victory as he is an exceptional entertainer, songwriter, singer and musician with great stage presence, but was worried that he may suffer a similar fate to similarly talented 90s star Rebecka Törnqvist, who has continued to write lyrics in English and her career has suffered as a result.

I remember reading an interview with Salem once which said that he prefers to write in English to Swedish. It will be interesting to see what direction he goes in as he develops as a lyricist. I would like to hear him write and sing in Swedish too, maybe he could do a Swedish-language album someday as a one-off project once he is a confident enough lyricist? Why be talented in one language when you can be talented in two? (Just ask Annika Norlin!)

Salem's official website: inspirations

Last year, Salem famously stated that he never listens to music, but therefore it was good fun finding out that he has a little section on his website devoted to his musical inspirations: Glenn Gould, Bad Brains, The Band, Joey Jordison, Cameron and Paco De Lucia, Billy Joel and Humble Pie. Interesting mix - but he really needs to get Steely Dan in there. Every time I listen to "Thank You" from "This Is Who I Am", I just think of how much it reminds me of Steely Dan.

Life will smile for you, unless you're Markus Larsson.

Not that we need an excuse for another picture of Salem and his four Swedish Grammys of course! Aww. Hope he's feeling better today.

Anyway his victory on Wednesday night seems to have been received quite positively - but you can always rely on one dissenting voice to spoil the party. "It won't be no surprise..." that the dissenting voice is none other than Aftonbladet's music correspondent Markus Larsson, the man who last year achieved his five minutes of worldwide fame for giving the Rolling Stones gig a bad review only for Keith Richards to ask him for an apology.

Following the Grammisgalan, Mr Larsson targeted Salem for one of his famous attacks, asking why someone who 'sings through his nose' should win 4 awards.

Who said 'green-eyed monster'? How many awards have you won, Mr Larsson? Let me know.

Friday, 11 January 2008

An apology.

Watching Salem sing and collect his awards at the Grammisgalan, I thought that he didn't look too well but had (wrongly) assumed that this might have been as a result of over-celebrating, resulting in a sore throat.

I would like to apologise therefore, because I got it wrong. I have now found out the truth about Wednesday night. Salem had been very ill before the awards and there was a strong possibility that he wouldn't have been able to perform. He had been treated with cortisone throughout the day but deteriorated prior to the show. Crisis meetings ensued backstage. But in the spirit of "The show must go on" Salem bravely soldiered on and sang "It's True" in a lower register.

Well done Salem - and get well soon!

Salem now has an official website!

When I made my daily visit to Salem's MySpace today I discovered that Salem finally has his own official website at last! The address is and interestingly, the site content is in English, not Swedish. Delighted to see an official site at last and will keep checking it for news and other stuff. I've also posted a link to it over there in my sites list.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Still excited!

I woke up this morning and wondered if it had all been a dream last night, that Salem had won four awards. But it wasn't - yaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy!

Tonight I'll probably watch the video clips of the acceptance speeches and his, "different" performance of "It's True" from last night.

You can never get enough of Salem, well I know I can't!!!!

It's been uploaded to YouTube so just in case it may not be around for long, here it is!

"It's True" from tonight's show

Thanks to TV4's website for putting up the footage of Salem's acceptance speeches and his version of "It's True". Lemur - I see what you meant about his voice, he had to sing the song in a lower register and he probably needs to give his voice a rest now! It may not have been his best ever version of the song, but it is certainly the most significant. A superstar is born.

He was obviously very happy and "tired and emotional" (as we say here in the UK) !!!! :-)))

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Time to celebrate!



Fyra Grammis.

That's four Swedish Grammy awards, by the way.

Tonight, Salem Al Fakir became the winner of four awards (voted for by the Swedish public) for best newcomer, best male artist, best composer and best producer. (He should have won best song as well, but I'm so happy tonight that I might just leave my rant about that until another time).

I am so happy, deliriously happy, that this incredibly talented young musical genius has been recognised and rewarded not only by the Swedish media and music industry, but also by the general public in his home country.

Grattis Salem.

Now go and have some time off.
And then go and conquer the world.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Grammisgalan tomorrow!

I'm so excited! This time tomorrow it will be all over and we will know who has won the Swedish Grammy awards, the most prestigious of all the Swedish music award ceremonies and this time of course it's "power to the people" as the Swedish public will have chosen their favourites. Hopefully Salem will be among the winners, we are keeping our fingers crossed that he will win.

Now it's time for a blast from the past.

There is footage on TV4 Nyheterna's site of Salem's appearance on "Nyhetsmorgon" from 14th January 2007, yes almost a year ago. I had previously seen the clip of "Good Song" on the same show before, but hadn't seen him singing "It's True". Wow! Salem's performance of this is so sweet, captivating and full of charm. Why do I love this man and his music? Watch this clip and you will understand why. There is also a nice interview with him on the same Nyhetsmorgon show.

EDIT 15.01.08: This has now been removed from that website, but they've still got all the Grammisgalan stuff.

So...what was Salem doing in 2005?

Answer: playing violin on a song called "The Tree", an acoustic-jazz number in the style of Norah Jones, sung by a pleasant young lady called My Engstrom Renman. The video has finally appeared on YouTube and the reason I mention it here, is that our favourite man is in the video, playing the violin and wearing an extremely silly hat. :-))

Monday, 7 January 2008

Another Expressen poll.

In the lead-up to the Grammisgalan, Expressen has been asking its readers whom they think will win the "Best Album" award. Kent's "Tillbaka Till Samtiden" is narrowly in the lead with 25.8%, and Salem's "This Is Who I Am" is a close second with 25.3%.

Two days to go....

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Firstly the Expressen prize, now the Expressen polls.

Ooh I love the Swedish tabloids' websites with all these polls to vote in!!

After the great news that Salem won the Spelmannen prize, Expressen asked its readers whether or not he deserved it. Well, it's not good news at the moment as 53% of voters say "nej" :-(( of course I wasn't one of those voters - it's a ja! from me...

There is another poll on the Expressen website asking "what's your favourite Salem Al Fakir song?"

Results stand like this at the moment:
"Good Song" - 45.4% (I voted for this as my favourite too)
"It's True" - 23.4%
"This Is Who I Am" - 21.3%
"Dream Girl" - 9.9% (thought this would have been higher?)

I don't know how long these polls usually run for, but I may check back tomorrow to see if the results have changed.

Salem versus the mobile phones....the debate starts here!

Interesting comment by Salem in his Expressen interview today when he said that during a gig in Lund he had started playing "Good Song" and then stopped because of the number of people in the audience holding up their mobile phones to record this. He said that he was "enraged" that people were doing this.

I understand the point that Salem is trying to make, when good artistic efforts are diluted in this way, (and I certainly get annoyed at gigs when everyone is taking pictures or video on their phones yet you aren't even allowed to take a camera into a concert venue) however as long as this technology exists, and websites exist to allow such material to be uploaded, then it would appear to be a losing battle.

Since I discovered Salem's music 6 months ago, I visited YouTube and watched every single video posted there, whether official or not. The quality of these vary from good to extremely poor, but I'm still glad that they exist as it has given me the chance to see his promo videos and live performances - especially as I don't live in Sweden and therefore have never had the opportunity to watch him play live either at a concert venue or see him on television.

What I would really like Salem to do over the coming year or two - apart from the international launch and the release of the second album - is to bring out a live DVD, then we could all enjoy his top quality live performance on an equally top quality DVD instead of inferior mobile footage on YouTube!

Salem wins the Expressen Spelmannen 2007 prize!

Very happy to report today that Salem has won Expressen newspaper's Spelmannen prize. There is also a good new interview with him in today's Expressen, find it at . No information about future plans though, all he says is that he's now off to write some more music and that his next album will be a little more "serious".

It really has been a fantastic 12 months for our favourite singer, and it's not over yet - 3 days to go till the Grammisgalan....

Saturday, 5 January 2008

"Black Sun, Black Moon" : here yesterday, gone too soon :-(

Was over at YouTube last night and much to my delight someone had posted a clip of Salem's 25.12.07 Stockholm gig, in which he was singing a new song called "Black Sun, Black Moon".

It was a slow and quite sad song (a bit of a change for him), which he played solo on the keyboard, and was rather nice even if it sounded a bit unfinished.

I wanted to hear it again today so went back to YouTube only to find that the video had been removed by the user. Not happy about this, don't know why it's been removed. I hope there's a valid reason for removing this video..

Thursday, 3 January 2008

More YouTube: Snook, and some mad dancing

Still over at YouTube, found a clip of Snook performing live at Grona Lund in September 2006. Not only did I find myself yelling "back in the day" at the computer screen, but halfway through I had a right good laugh at Salem doing a silly dance on stage with the boys. Even "back in the day" he couldn't stand still! :-)))

Couple of new videos on YouTube.

In the absence of any real news this week I notice that two short clips from last August's Way Out West festival in Gothenburg have been posted on YouTube: they feature "Good Song" and "Dream Girl" - nice to hear everyone singing along too.

If anyone has any footage of any new songs from the recent Swedish tour - can they please upload this to YouTube!!

6 days to go till the Grammisgalan....hoping that someone posts any clips of Salem playing live and/or when he goes up to collect his awards next week!