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Thursday, 30 December 2010

Gott Nytt År !

As 2010 is almost over I would like to wish all the readers of Planet Salem a very happy new year, and thanks again to each and every one of you for your friendship, support and assistance over the past year.

2010 has been a fantastic year to be a Salem Al Fakir fan....so many amazing things have happened, which I already mentioned in my 3rd anniversary post http://planetsalem.blogspot.com/2010/12/planet-salem-is-three-years-old-today.html however I just wanted to mention again that Salem has brought me so much happiness through his music this year. Thank you, Salem, for making 2010 so special. Stora kramar och god hälsa, lycka och framgång i allt du gör under det kommande året!

It has been an amazing year for Salem, of course...so it's also been an amazing year for this blog. I've put a lot of work into doing Planet Salem over the last 12 months, and it's taken up a lot of my time, but it has been an absolute pleasure to write every word.

And as for 2011? Well, it'll be a lot quieter of course - but Planet Salem never closes, so this blog will continue to report on all his musical adventures. At the moment, I've given up on the possibility of Salem's music ever being released outside Scandinavia. But maybe someday?? One thing's for sure - Salem's international fanbase is growing, and we will always want his music! So why are most of Salem's videos on http://www.youtube.com/user/salemtv/ blocked again? All you get is the message "This video contains content from Vevo, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds"? I need to know - after all, if Salem's music isn't being released internationally, why are we being denied the the opportunity to watch his videos?

In the meantime, don't forget to keep on voting for "Keep On Walking" in the P3 Guld awards http://sverigesradio.se/cgi-bin/p3/p3guld/index.asp and in the Grammis http://www.expressen.se/noje/musik/1.2251582/rosta-pa-din-svenska-favoritlat-under-2010 ....and keep voting for "Split My Personality" in the Mix Megapol topp 20 http://www.mixmegapol.se/musik/mix-topp-20

Happy new year everyone!

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

"Live @ Katalin" free on iTunes - 4th January

iTunes is currently running a "12 Days of Christmas" promotion where they are giving away free songs, EPs and games between 26th December and 5th January.

What really got me excited was the free giveaway on the 4th of January - Salem live @ Katalin. I guess it will probably be "Keep On Walking" and "It's Only You (Part II)" if this link is anything to go by: http://itunes.apple.com/se/album/live-katalin-single/id408029662

I'm not sure if these songs will only be available or on iTunes worldwide - what a great opportunity this would be to introduce a worldwide audience to Salem's music. I'll let you know on 4th January if I was able to get my free downloads :)

EDIT 30.12.2010: those of us outside Sweden probably won't be able to get this download: I tried to get the Tove Styrke one tonight but it wasn't available because I don't live in Sweden :(((

UNT's review of Salem in Uppsala - 27th December

In his review at http://www.unt.se/kultur/konsert/skojfrisk-salem-med-ljudeffekter-1175557.aspx Stefan Warnqvist awards three stars to the first of Salem's two shows at Katalin in Uppsala.

The reviewer noted a "special chemistry" between Salem and the Uppsala audience, as he sold out two gigs there in the summer and performed an almost sold out gig last night, which the reviewer described as "...a spirited celebration. Al Fakir gave us hit after hit and was greeted by singing along with almost every song. The tempo was high and enthusiasm on stage was both tangible and contagious. Visually, it was spartan. Al Fakir recently had a haircut and has grown a moustache, but otherwise he was content with Katalin's usual simple decor. But his own charisma was enough."

When it came to the new songs from "Ignore This", the reviewer said: "They went to Katalin and made the songs more danceable, but it sounded mechanical with a dated '80s feel. The versatility that otherwise characterizes Al Fakir's music also went into the background behind all the sound effects. The song "Split My Personality" was with its slower tempo and melodic guitar loops, a welcome contrast. This gave more space for the soulfulness of Al Fakir's distinctive voice."

The reviewer went on to say : "The set ended with a brilliant version of "Keep on Walking" and the jubilation afterwards knew no bounds. The song stood out already in Melodifestivalen and the high energy of Katalin gave it a stronger nerve and intensity."We have not prepared anything," joked Al Fakir when he and his musicians came back for the encore. The audience were asked what they wanted to hear and the choice fell on "Good Song", the big hit from his debut album." The reviewer ended: "..the bottom line: an energy-fuelled and spirited show, but with too many synth layers. Maybe next time Salem Al Fakir might like to cut down on the pre-programmed sound effects".

If you were there, do you agree with this review? Let me know what you think.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Salem on Morgonpasset i P3 today

Salem returned to the Morgonpasset studio this morning and if you haven't heard the show yet you can check out the clips at http://sverigesradio.se/sida/default.aspx?programid=2024

As usual, if any of the Planet Salem readers would be able to translate the interview clips for me than I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

Here are a couple of photographs from this morning's show, courtesy of Sveriges Radio.

Above: Salem with Hanna. Nice hats :)

Of course you will notice that Salem has had his hair cut. I had a feeling this might be happening, as he had spent the last couple of months hiding his hair under his woolly hat!

If any of you are going to Uppsala tonight and/or tomorrow, let me know what you think of his new look.

UNT's interview with Damien Adore / Uppsala tonight and tomorrow

The "mystery man" with the moustache is supporting Salem at his gigs tonight and tomorrow at Katalin, Uppsala. Damien has given what he says is his first and last interview, to Uppsala Nya Tidning, and you can find it at http://www.unt.se/kultur/damien-adore-avslutar-forbandsturn-1173762.aspx along with a nice picture of the man himself. I love that costume! ;)

The interview took place in Gothenburg last month when Damien supported Salem at the Sticky Fingers club. He said that he's been involved in the music industry for 10 years, but mostly as a producer. It wasn't until the P3 Guldgalan back in January 2010, when he revealed himself "...I have not had any need to be visible externally". He said that his musical inspiration comes from "himself"!

Damien said there will be a debut album "when the time is right." Hoping we won't have to wait too long!!

As I mentioned earlier, Salem and Damien are playing their final shows of 2010 tonight and tomorrow at Katalin in Uppsala. I'm sure that all the "regulars" will be there and as ever, I'd love to hear what you thought of the shows - remember to leave your comments here!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

God Jul!

Hi everyone...

I just want to wish all the readers of Planet Salem a very merry Christmas...hope you all have fun over the festive season! Hugs to all of you and thanks for making 2010 such a special year for this blog :))

Salem...love and and best wishes to you, hope you have a great Christmas....och tack för en fantastisk och oförglömlig år! Hoppas vi ses snart igen :))))

Salem will be back on Morgonpasset i P3 this coming Monday, 27th December so don't forget to tune in!! http://sverigesradio.se/sida/default.aspx?programid=2024

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

New interview....

Found a nice new interview with Salem today at http://halsa.msn.se/6393/image/3 where he talks about the past year, and about what he's doing at Christmas.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Vara Konserthus show cancelled / Finnish festival in 2011

The show at Vara Konserthus scheduled for 18th March has been cancelled. http://www.ticnet.se/search.php?tm_link=tm_homeA_header_search&language=sv&keyword=salem+al+fakir

Ticnet also reports on that page that Salem will be appearing at the Popkalaset festival in Tammisaari, Finland, on 18th June 2011. http://www.lippupalvelu.fi/Popkalaset-biljetter/event/BGR1806A although I haven't been able to find any more information about this.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Salem playing in Helsinki on 2nd February 2011

Via http://yle.fi/extrem/program/program_inlagg.php?id=44832 some news about Salem's rescheduled Helsinki gig, which will now take place at Korjaamo in Helsinki on 2nd February 2011 at 20:00.

This is part of Radio X3M's 'Svenska Talande Klubben' series - tickets are 12 euro and available via www.tiketti.fi.

The show will be broadcast live on Radio X3M and streamed live on the internet - I'll bring more information about this nearer the time.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Voting time again - Rix Topp 6 Klockan 6!

"Split My Personality" is "bubbling under" in the Rix FM Topp 6 Klockan 6 chart. Go to http://www.rixfm.com/program/kvallar-med-christian-hedlund/rix-topp-6-klockan-6 and vote, vote, vote to get Salem into the top 6!

Vote for "Keep On Walking" in this year's Swedish Grammis!

Calling all Salem fans out there! We need each and everyone of you to vote, so that Salem wins this award :)))

Go to http://www.expressen.se/noje/musik/1.2251582/rosta-pa-din-svenska-favoritlat-under-2010 where you can cast your vote for "Keep On Walking" in the "best song" category. Voting is open until 16th January.

Rösta rösta rösta!!!!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Two nominations for Salem in the Swedish Grammis!

Salem has been nominated in two categories at the Grammis 2011 which takes place on 17th January: Årets manliga artist and Årets låt.

Full list of nominees at http://www.expressen.se/noje/1.2253718/de-kan-vinna-grammis-2011

EDITORIAL:

Please note that the following views do not reflect those of Salem, his management, record company or anyone else connected with him - but are purely my own, as editor of Planet Salem.

Whilst I'm happy about his two nominations, I also want to say that I am very, very disappointed that the jury has overlooked Salem in five other categories - for album, artist, composer, lyricist and producer, where he deserved the recognition for his musical output over the past 12 months.

I know there is such a high standard of music coming out of Sweden....and of course I am a fan of many of the acts nominated, including Oskar Linnros, Daniel Adams-Ray, Robyn and Kent, all of whom deserve their nominations.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your views, so post your comments here.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Berwaldhallen concert on P2 right now....

The Lucia concert by the Nacka music class and Salem is being broadcast right now on Swedish Radio's P2 channel - http://sverigesradio.se/p2/

Of course I'm sitting in front of the computer and enjoying this beautiful choral music...and looking forward to hearing Salem!

EDIT 19:45 (UK time): what a wonderful concert!

Set list - songs played by Salem and the band:

1. Good Song
2. It's Only You
3. Brooklyn Sun
4. Astronaut
5. Hymn
6. Keep On Walking

Salem began with a more jazzy interpretation of "Good Song" where he was successfully accompanied by the choir - is there any musical setting where this man's music doesn't work??? - and what a stunning piano solo too.

Next was "It's Only You" - Salem's vocals on this were so sweet and tender that I was reduced to a quivering wreck ;) and it was, in my opinion, one of the best versions of this song that I've ever heard him do.

"Brooklyn Sun" - a very special song, and even more special when played in the piano-version. We all know that Salem is a terrific singer, but his vocals keep getting better and better!

"Astronaut" - yet another faultless version of a perfect song.

"Hymn" - this song always makes me cry, and it did again tonight. Salem has rarely played this song live, so it was a particular highlight to hear such a beautiful, moving song which seemed to fit the mood of this type of concert.

Salem then introduced his always-wonderful band - Nisse, Jakob and Adam - then they launched into their final song, which of course was "Keep On Walking" which began with a jazzy, reggae feel and brought the set to a triumphant end before the Nacka choir returned for the final part of a beautiful and very emotional concert.

If you missed the show, or if you just want to listen to it over and over again like I do, go to http://sverigesradio.se/sida/default.aspx?programid=2482 and click on the link 'P3 Live Klassiskt - Luciakonsert från Berwaldhallen'.

"Keep On Walking" nominated in Grammis 'Best Song' category

Tomorrow, the nominations for the Swedish Grammis will be revealed...hoping for lots of nominations for Salem of course!

Today the list of Best Song nominees was announced - and "Keep On Walking" is on the list!

Here is the full list of Best Song nominees:

Salem Al Fakir – "Keep on Walking"
Robyn – "Dancing on my Own"
Oskar Linnros – "Från och med du"
Daniel Adams-Ray – "Gubben i lådan"
Anna Bergendahl – "This is my life"
Eric Saade – "Manboy"
Eric Grönwall – "Higher"
Johnossi – "What's the Point"
Swedish House Mafia – "One"
Mohombi – "Bumpy ride"

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Poll result: we want Salem in Så mycket bättre!

Thanks to everyone who voted in my latest poll. 67% of those who voted, want to see Salem in a future series of TV4's hit TV show "Så mycket bättre" which has now come to the end of its very successful first series.

I would love to see Salem appear in this show, as it would bring his music to a new audience and it would also allow him to discover some other artists' music too :)))

Södertälje and Stockholm....

If you were at Salem's show at Klubb Molto on Saturday night, remember that you can leave your comments, views and set lists here! Let me know if you enjoyed the show.

And I would also like to hear from you, if you are going to Berwaldhallen on Sunday. Of course I'll be sitting at the computer on Monday night, listening to P2's broadcast of tomorrow's concert. If you are going - enjoy the show!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

The final "Tracks" chart on P3....

...and Salem has made his own little piece of history as "Split My Personality" is at no.9 in the last ever "Tracks" chart on P3 today.

Daniel Adams-Ray tops the chart with "Gubben I Lådan" which becomes the final number one song in this famous chart which has been running since September 1984. I'm really sad to see this chart ending as it always featured the best in Swedish music, so I guess it's appropriate that it ends with the very best - Salem Al Fakir - in the top 10.

Friday, 10 December 2010

New interview

A very interesting interview in Länstidningen Södertälje, ahead of Salem's gig tomorrow night: http://lt.se/kulturnoje/1.1035819-kanner-du-igen-lars-

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

P3 on Saturday, Berwaldhallen on Sunday, P2 on Monday!

There's a lot going on over the next few days :)

On Saturday 11th December, tune into P3 Star (between 14:00 and 16:00 Swedish time) for a special programme devoted to the P3 Guld award nominees. Salem will be one of the stars interviewed - others include Daniel Adams-Ray and Johnossi.

Check out http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=2907&artikel=4229533 for more information about the show. Here's a picture of Salem and the show's host Cissi (picture courtesy of Sveriges Radio).


The following day, Sunday 12th December, it will be time for Salem's return to Berwaldhallen, this time as special guest at two concerts (16:00 and 18:00) by the Nacka music class. These are special concerts for Lucia Day.

What is even more special is that one of the concerts will be transmitted the following evening on P2 from 19:30 - 21:00 Swedish time (18:30 - 20:00 British time). You can also read a feature about the concerts at http://www.nvp.se/Kultur--Noje/Salem-Al-Fakir--sjunger-in-julen-med-Nacka-musikklasser/ and if you go to http://sverigesradio.se/sida/default.aspx?programid=3985 you'll find more information about the concerts and ticket booking.

The concert is in three parts; Salem will appear with the Nacka music class in the first part, then he will perform his own live set in part two. This should be a brilliant show as Salem always shines in an orchestral/choral setting and I can't wait to hear the concert.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Salem Al Fakir: more popular than Justin Bieber!!

Found this very interesting Finnish article tonight at http://googlefipress.blogspot.com/2010/12/vuoden-2010-suosituimmat-google-haut.html

Google Finland's annual "Zeitgeist" reveals the annual search trends over the past year - and Salem tops the list of Finland's most-searched for international fastest rising searches in 2010. More people in Finland searched on Google for Salem, than for international celebrities like Justin Bieber and Jason Derulo!

Klubb Molto gig this Saturday...

Don't forget that Salem will be playing Klubb Molto at Södertälje Stadshus this coming Saturday. Damien Adore is the support act.

More info at http://moltolive.nu/salem-al-fakir/

There are still tickets available, so if you haven't got your tickets yet then you can book them at https://secure.tickster.com/(S(bs3leu55bztllp55bvogbgj1))/sv-SE/FKYZEVMNWP223UN/Shop/Products.aspx

Found some good news tonight (via www.twitter.com/klubbmolto) that Saturday night's show will be recorded for future transmission on P3 Live. I'll bring more information about that when it becomes available.

"Keep On Walking" nominated in P3 Guld awards!

The nominees for the 2011 P3 Guld awards were announced today, and "Keep On Walking" has been nominated in the 'Årets låt' category!

It's time to get voting - go to http://sverigesradio.se/cgi-bin/p3/p3guld/index.asp and vote for Salem (and all your other Swedish favourites too).

I wish Salem had received more nominations, but I'm just very happy that he's been nominated! The ceremony takes place on 22nd January 2011 at Lisebergshallen in Gothenburg.


Here's Salem pictured at today's P3 Guld 2011 launch. (picture courtesy of: Ruben Brundell/Sveriges Radio).

Saturday, 4 December 2010

"Split My Personality" stays at no.7 on Tracks chart

"Split My Personality" is a non-mover at no.7 on P3's excellent Tracks chart this week. Daniel Adams-Ray and Oskar Linnros are in the top two positions, with Robyn, Tove Styrke and September also in the top 10 - I wish the British music charts were as good as this one.

Don't forget to vote between now and 14:00 on Monday to keep Salem in the top 10! Vote at http://sverigesradio.se/cgi-bin/p3/tracks/index.asp?taskid=1

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!

Official info: why Salem never appeared at the Bloggpriset-gala

X3M's website reports the reason why Salem never appeared at the Bloggpriset tonight:
http://yle.fi/extrem/news/parad_artikel.php?id=36881#news

X3M explained that Salem did not appear as his flight was delayed so late that he didn't have time to appear at the Gala. X3M apologises for this and advises that ticket refunds will be available from Tiketti.

Hope this clears up any confusion. I hope that Salem will reschedule his gig, as he has a lot of Finnish fans who want to see him play live!

No Salem concert tonight :(

I was very, very angry when YLE pulled the Bloggpriset webstream, but now I have an explanation for everyone who was waiting to watch/listen tonight.

Apparently Salem and the band were stuck in Stockholm due to the Finnish airline strike today.

Apologies to all of you who were eagerly waiting for the show, as I was :(

Bloggpriset....but where's Salem?

I don't know what's happening....been watching the Bloggpriset for the last hour but still no sign of Salem - I'm beginning to wonder if they are going to broadcast his live set after all????

Bloggpriset 2010 - live right now!

Video and audio from the 2010 Bloggpriset is being streamed live from Korjaamo in Helsinki right now on http://www.yle.fi/extrem/radio/

Salem will be on stage in just under 90 minutes time... I'm so excited tonight!! :)))))