Monday, 30 November 2009

Örnsköldsvik, 06.02.2010.....

Today the first list of artists taking part in the 2010 Melodifestivalen heats was announced. Of course we already knew that Salem will be in the contest and will sing his own composition "Keep On Walking", but now we know that he will be in the very first heat on Saturday 6th February which will take place in the Swedbank Arena in Örnsköldsvik, the northernmost destination on next year's Melodifestivalen tour!

He will be competing against a mixture of unknown and familiar names that week - Jenny Silver, Jessica Andersson, Pain of Salvation, Anders Ekborg, Linda Pritchard, Ola and Frispråkarn.

Full list of songs on my other blog EuropeCrazy.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Some pictures of Salem from last night's Gothenburg show...

If you go to you'll find some nice photos of Salem and the band from last night's concert at the Stadsteatern Foajebar.

Salem's Gothenburg show last night - reviews wanted

Did any of you go to see Salem play in Gothenburg last night? I noticed that he played not one but two shows - after Stadsteatern he then went on to Nefertiti to play a show with the Off Beat Band!

Anyway I haven't found any reviews on the internet yet so if you were at any of the shows I would love to read your comments.

Salem's next live shows will of course be at Berwaldhallen next month - are any of you going? (Sadly I won't be able to make it over to Sweden, so I would appreciate all your comments and reviews following his orchestra concerts).

Monday, 16 November 2009

Svenska Dagbladet interview / New album in 2010!

I found another link at to a very interesting interview in today's Svenska Dagbladet:

In this interview Salem says that "Keep On Walking" is a song based on his own personal experiences, but he didn't want to say any more than that.

What I was really interested to read was that the song is from his third album which he is working on at the moment - and which he hopes will be released around the time of Melodifestivalen - February/March 2010! This is fantastic news, isn't it?

One more fascinating fact from this interview....Salem may be competing in Melodifestivalen, but he revealed he doesn't watch it much!

Salem in Melodifestivalen!!!! (and that's no joke)

It has been announced today that Salem will be competing in the 2010 Melodifestivalen:

I only found out about it whilst checking the internet during my afternoon coffee break at work today and was so excited at the news that I couldn't concentrate on any of my work for the rest of the afternoon :)))

This morning Salem was announced by SVT as the second "joker" (wildcard entry) in next year's competition. He will sing his own composition "Keep On Walking" which is described as a mid-tempo song played on the piano, the theme of which, he told Expressen is "about trying to get up and move on once you have fallen". He said that he thought for a while before he accepted SVT's invitation, but he's now looking forward to the challenge. Salem told Expressen: "I have had a free hand, it feels great. It was time to experiment with new ways now and find a new audience".

The MF semi-finals begin on 6th February and the final takes place in Stockholm in 13th March. For those readers of Planet Salem who are not familiar with Melodifestivalen, this is the annual Swedish song contest. The winner represents Sweden at the annual Eurovision Song Contest (next year's contest will take place in Norway) but the Eurovision aspect has, I think, become less important in recent years - as both new and established acts realised that it's not just a song contest but it provides an unrivalled marketing opportunity - appearing in front of massive audiences in huge stadiums, watched by the biggest TV audience of the year in Sweden. Many Melodifestivalen songs become massive hit singles and are guaranteed huge radio airplay. Thanks to the internet, Melodifestivalen has many fans outside Sweden, who watch the show live on SVT's website, so an appearance on the show also provides the chance to reach a worldwide audience.

In recent years Melodifestivalen has provided a major breakthrough for many acts in Sweden: and regardless of how he does in the contest I think it would be the perfect opportunity for Salem to showcase his music to a wider audience. According to one of the articles I read today, Salem was approached to participate in the 2009 contest, but this did not fit in with his schedule (this was around the time of the release of "Astronaut")

Here are some more links you might want to check out: - where you can find a short video clip introducing Salem as this year's second joker entry. - Dagens Nyheter article - Expressen article

Here are a couple of pictures from this morning's press conference, courtesy of Aftonbladet and Expressen:

Congratulations Salem - I'm so happy for you! Planet Salem will be supporting our favourite singer all the way in next year's contest and I'll be reporting all the news on this blog.

So, readers, what do you think about Salem appearing in Melodifestivalen? Yes it's time for a new poll, which I'll be running on this site until the end of this year. As he's not a traditional Melodifestivalen-type artist I'm interested to find out if you agree with Salem's decision to compete next year. It's just a bit of fun so remember to cast your vote!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Vote for Salem in P3 Populär's "25-00" poll!

Swedish Radio's P3 Populär is running a poll on the top 25 Swedish songs of this decade.

If you go to there is a list of 200 songs and you can vote for your top 10 favourites. The list includes "Astronaut" and also the Salem vs Axwell & Sebastian Ingrosso mix of "It's True".

There are also a couple of Snook songs in there too - "Längst Fram i Taxin" and "Mister Cool", and so many many more good songs (but not "Good Song" - it should have been on the list!) - this list proves yet again that Swedish music is the best!!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Fernando spreads the word about Salem in the USA!

Occasionally I feature some other musicians on this blog who are connected in some way to Salem. This time I thought I'd mention one of Planet Salem's readers, who also happens to be a multi-talented singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from the USA. Fernando Perdomo's band Dreaming In Stereo recently released their album of the same name and it is full of deliciously melodic songs which they describe as 'progressive pop' and which I think would appeal to fans of Salem's music, with its combination of retro and contemporary influences.

Anyway, Fernando has been in touch to let me know that he has been spreading the Salem love in the USA. Fernando has been interviewed by Keyboard Magazine, which is America's number one magazine for keyboard players.

The interview is at :

I particular like this little part of the questionnaire...

Favorite artist we’ve probably never heard of: Salem Al Fakir of Sweden, who is like Todd Rundgren meets Stevie Wonder meets Prince.

A wonderful description don't you agree?

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Salem in Lund tonight / Uppsala tomorrow

If you live in or around Lund or Uppsala, then you can check out Salem playing live this weekend. Tonight he will be at Mejeriet in Lund with his band, and he moves on to Katalin, Uppsala tomorrow.

If you are going to any of the shows, remember to post your thoughts, comments and set lists here!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Nyköping review in Södermanlands Nyheter

Olle Söderström has written a warm and positive review about Salem's show at Culturum in Nyköping, in Södermanlands Nyheter - go to

I want to share a few things from the translation of the review as the reviewer makes some very relevant points.

The reviewer says that Salem is "... still a joy machine" and describes the newly-bespectacled Salem as "a young musical clone of Elvis Costello" going on to expand on this comparison.

He goes on to say that "Salem must be heard live. For his greatness lies not in a great singing voice, neither relies on some amazing songs, but on stage he fills them with so much musical magic, mischief, shifting harmonies and rhythmic drama that grows several feet". I'd also like to highlight the reviewer's closing words: "...he is charming, and charming you rarely get enough of. Particularly if they are a musical prodigy who distributes the entire pharmacy of antidepressant pop pills".

I think we can all agree with that description!