Sunday, 27 March 2011

Salem's songs reinterpreted by other artists.....

Check out for a new demo by London-based rapper Dreamer. The song is called "It's True" and is based around a sample of the song of the same name.

Kissey Asplund meanwhile has covered "Count Me Out" in a completely different style from the original:

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

"Kusin Al Fakir": this Friday on SVT2

You'll probably have seen the trailer for this show (but if you haven't, check out this YouTube link: A documentary film by Johan Jonason, "Kusin Al Fakir" takes a look at Salem's (unknown) cousin, Peter Al Fakir, and his band Knights of the Night which is made up of other members of this endlessly talented musical family. Peter also dreams of the success that his cousin has achieved, and finally gets the chance to achieve some recognition when the band get the chance to be Salem's opening act. According to this article the film explores the differences between Peter and Salem despite their family link, and covers everything from success and jealousy to religion, integration and the overall importance of music. (picture of Peter and Salem is courtesy of It sounds like a fascinating documentary and a must-see for all fans of Salem and the Al Fakir family. Don't miss it! The film will be screened on SVT2 this Friday night between 20:00 and 21:00 Swedish time, and will be repeated again on SVT2 on Saturday 26th March between 15:15 and 16:15, you'll also get another chance to see it on SVT2 on Tuesday 29th March from 22:45 to 23:45. Of course it should also be available on SVT Play and I'll post the link later. EDIT: there's also an extra clip posted at

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Vad är musik? Salem has the answer....

As we all know, Salem Al Fakir is a man of many talents. He will soon be adding "author" to that list! Salem has helped his friend Pontus de Wolfe with writing a book called "Vad är musik?" and it's all about the role that music has played through history. The book will be published in September by Question Books.

Check out Pontus' blog at Nöjesguiden,

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Video clips of Salem and September in Norrköping

If you go to you'll find some lovely live footage of Salem and September from the 5th March gig at De Geerhallen, Norrköping, with the following songs...

Keep On Walking
Kärlekens Tunga
Dream Girl
All Day Love

Thanks to Livestage TV over at thanks to the ever-wonderful Scandipop for the tip.


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Salem returns to Finland in July

According to Finnish ticket booking site Tiketti, Salem will be playing the Vaasa Rockfestival (in western Finland); the festival will take place on 15th and 16th July this year. Weekend tickets go on sale this Friday, 18th March and day tickets will go on sale in April. More info at

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

Salem at the Swedish Retail Awards - 15th March

Found some info at this link - after the prizes are given out, Salem will be performing at this corporate awards ceremony next Tuesday, 15th March, which will take place at Stockholm City Hall.

Monday, 7 March 2011

March 2009/March 2010: Salem's album anniversaries

I don't know if you will agree with me or not, but this has been the quickest year ever! It feels like no time has passed since the release of "Ignore This", one year ago this week. Of course it was also the week leading up to that Melodifestivalen final! (By the way, are any of you PS readers out there watching this year's contest?)

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 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. :)

Norrköping review in Folkbladet / Salem in Svensktoppen

There's a very positive review of Salem's Saturday night show in Norrköping, in today's Folkbladet:

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 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 :" 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

Norrköping tonight!

There's a fabulous night ahead for all you lucky people who are going to Salem's concert at the Louis De Geer hall in Norrköping.

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:

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: " 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 :))