Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Planet Salem is three years old today!

Three years ago today, I started a blog about my favourite musician, Salem Al Fakir. At that time I didn’t know how long it would last, or if anyone would ever read it. Three years later, Planet Salem has had almost 51,000 visitors, and has a regular and very devoted readership. Tack alla!

I thought 2009 was an exciting year for Salem, but that was nothing compared to 2010! Salem may not have won Melodifestivalen, but he was the true winner - "Keep On Walking" was the most played song on Swedish radio all year. For Salem, Melodifestivalen was an "experiment" - a very successful one, as it won him so many fans, young and old, all keen to discover his unique and incredibly diverse music. Salem became a household name, and (as you say in Sweden), "folkkär".

On Salem's third album "Ignore This", he took his music in a new, electronic/experimental direction and his development as a lyricist was remarkable.

Of course Salem is at his very best when performing live, and he was "on the road" with the band for most of the year, in the north, south, east and west of Sweden and in Norway and Finland too.

What will 2011 bring? Well, I think it will be a lot quieter than 2010 - there will be some orchestra-concerts early in the year, and Dalhalla in the summer, but apart from that I don't expect we will hear so much from Salem. Being the "workaholic" that he is, I'm hoping he will take some time out to write and record new music, although I can't see him releasing an album next year. I wonder if we will hear anything from Damien Adore in 2011? From the moment he appeared on stage at the P3 Guldgalan back in January I knew he was going to be a very interesting character!

Of course there is still some unfinished business - when I started Planet Salem three years ago, I wanted to spread the word about "the world's best-kept musical secret". Of course it's no secret how I feel about this - I still can't understand why his music has not been released outwith Scandinavia, as there is clearly a market for his music. As time goes on I'm becoming increasingly pessimistic that it's never going to happen, and probably not in 2011, although I remain hopeful that one day, Salem's music will be released in Britain and he will come over here to play live.

Which brings me onto the highlight of my year - going back over to Gothenburg in March 2010 to see Salem and the band play an unforgettable show at the Konserthuset with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Hans Ek. This really was Salem at his very, very best. And the best thing about it was getting to meet him again - and despite becoming extremely famous since my last meeting with him in April 2009, Salem remains such a friendly, warm, down-to-earth person who is extremely humble and totally appreciates his fans.

Salem has been incredibly supportive of this blog over the last couple of years and I hope that someday I can see him play live and get to meet him again.

One of the best things about doing Planet Salem over the past three years, and particularly over the past 12 months, is that this fanblog has become an "interactive" one, so tonight I want to specially thank all of you Salem fans out there, who are as crazy about him as I am :) Thank you for all your reviews, translations, pictures, scans and comments - I appreciate everything you contribute. I've made some very special friends doing this blog and would love to meet you all some day! I introduced the forum this year and it's been lots of fun too - if you haven't visited yet, check it out!

Special thanks to the "Facebookers" for mentioning Planet Salem over there (as I'm not on Facebook). Thank you all for your hard work in spreading the word about Salem!

It's so special for me that Planet Salem has been welcomed and accepted by Salem's Swedish fans. Of course it is also an international fansite, so I really want to thank the very devoted band of British and international fans who have been lucky enough to discover Salem's music, and who are regular visitors to PS.

Finally I just want to thank some very important people....

...Inger Al Fakir: for your kind words and continued support.
...Stefan Segolson: truly one of the "good guys".
...Magnus @ EMI: for patiently answering all my questions.
...Jörgen @ Blixten: for helping to make my dream come true, to meet Salem again on that unforgettable evening at the Gothenburg Konserthuset!
...Nisse, Jakob and Adam: what is a great artist without a great band behind him?

And most of all....

...Salem Al Fakir: Your music continues to be the soundtrack to my life, your artistic talent inspires me and brings me so much happiness every day. And as a person, you are one of the best. Love you! <3

Thank you all for three fantastic years of Planet Salem....and there's so much more to come!


Focus on Life said...


Damian said...

Warmest congratulations to great Planet Salem and to you Laura! There's noone who gives so much of efforts and loads of useful and interesting information about Salem like so I hope Planet Salem gotta keep on walking forever ;)

Claire said...

Well done on three years of Planet Salem, Laura! When I discovered Salem earlier this year it was a really pleasant surprise to find such a dedicated and friendly fansite, particularly as a fellow UK based fan. I hope Salem stops being 'the world's best kept musical secret' one day and his music gets an international release, but until then you're doing a very good job of spreading the word! Here's to many more years of blogging and continued success for Salem :)

Anonymous said...

Thank You for your hard work to give us all the latest news about Salem. I am his mother but without You I would not be able to know so much about his working life. Thank You for your serious way to take care of this internetsite. Good Luck in all your engagement and once again THANK YOU!
Yours sincerely, Inger

Laura (EuropeCrazy) said...

Sharon, Damian, Claire....three of my most loyal correspondents, I don't know what I'd do without you :)

Inger - it's always very special hearing from you, and I'm so glad that Planet Salem is still keeping you informed with all the news about your wonderful, talented son. Keep in touch!

Thank you all for your lovely comments - your support really means so much to me and gives me all the inspiration I need to keep the blog going for a long time to come.