Kareem Salama
Background information
Birth name Kareem Salama
Born 1978 (age 37–38)
Ponca City, Oklahoma, United States
Origin Ponca City, Oklahoma, United States
Genres Country, Pop
Occupation(s) Singer, Songwriter, Musician
Instruments Vocals, Guitar
Years active 2006–present
Labels LightRain Records
Website kareemsalama.com

Kareem Salama (Arabic: كريم سلامة‎  ;[pronunciation 1] born 1978) is an Egyptian American musician. He is the first American Muslim country music singer. His music is a hybrid of country, pop and rock music.[1] He has released 3 albums Generous Peace (2006) This Life of Mine (2007) and a third City of Lights (2011), the latter after signing for LightRain Records.

Background and education

Salama was born in Ponca City, Oklahoma, United States. His parents immigrated to the United States from Egypt in the late 1960s to attend graduate school.[2] He studied at University of Oklahoma, where he majored in chemical engineering. Then he entering law school at the University of Iowa in Iowa City graduating with a degree in Law.[3]

Career

With his parent's encouragement and financial assistance, Salama began recording his first album Generous Peace while in law school with Greek-American producer, Aristotle Mihalopoulos. Salama also released the title track "Generous Peace" as his debut single accompanied by a music video. After another self-released album titled This Life of Mine, Salama was signed in 2011 to LightRain Records that released his third album to which he is signed.

Salama has performed in front of audiences as far as Rome and London. He also took part in a State Department European concert tour, performing in Paris.[4] He has been featured in major media outlets like the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Reader's Digest, Fox News, Sky News and France 24. In October 2008, he also performed at the Global Peace and Unity Event.[5][6]

Salama also embarked on a Middle East tour in summer 2010.[7] visiting Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain.

Influences

While in school, Salama made time to work on his music with a friend and producer Aristotle Mihalopoulos. Salama says that his music is inspired by a variety of things including his own experiences, experiences of friends and family, and things that he reads. As a result of growing in Oklahoma Salama was around country music from the time he was very young and is attracted to the stories and the reverent nature of country music.[8]

Salama highlights universal themes about love, home and family values. His songs are spiritual, without being overtly religious.[3] One inspired by the writings of an 8th-century Islamic scholar, Imam Muhammed Al-Shafi’ee, endorses the idea of tolerance and avoiding violence in his debut single "Generous Peace": “Gentleman, I’m like incense, the more you burn me, the more I'm fragrant.”[3]

The WitWits

The WitWits is a television youth project and is a LightRain Records presentation in association with Zenfilm. It is co-written by Kareem and Omar Salama, directed by W. Ross Wells and produced by Meridith Melville and Brittany Holland. The WitWits is about four kids, Kelly Ann (Alicia Lore), Super K (Caleb Duncan), Spencer (Austin Karkowsky), and Dougie (Grant Goodman) and their adventures in the 1980s, particularly in facing their nemesis, Rodney (Connor Jones). The project includes various television episodes, theatrical music videos as well as musical releases including promotional materials, singles with their debut "Radio Countdown" and a prospective album.[9][10]

Discography

Albums

Salama has released three albums thus far:
Title and details Notes
Generous Peace
  • Released: 2006
  • Label: Self-published
This Life of Mine
  • Released: 2007
  • Label: Self-published
City of Lights
  • Released: 24 May 2011
  • Label: LightRain Records

EPs

Title and details Notes
Generous Peace EP
  • Released: 7 December 2009
  • Label: Catapult

Singles

Date Song title Album Record label Length
7 December 2009 "Generous Peace" Generous Peace Independent
17 January 2011 "Makes Me Crazy" City of Light LightRain Records
3:29
20 March 2011 "Be Free Now"
(feat. Kelley Peters)
4:02
1 May 2012 "I Am You"
4:50

Videography

  • "Generous Peace" [1] (music video directed by Lena Khan)
    • "Generous Peace" (Arabic) [2]
  • "Makes Me Crazy" [3]
  • "Be Free Now" (feat. Kelley Peters) [4]
  • "1980 Something" (feat. The WitWits) [5]

Kareem Salama in popular culture

  • On May 9, 2007, Kareem Salama was interviewed on Fox News about various Muslim American issues.[11]
  • A reportage and brief interview about him was broadcast on France 24.[12]
  • In March 2008, he was interviewed on Arab Radio and Television Network (ART) program "From America" by Jihan Mansour. He also performed live renditions of some of his songs with Aristotle Mihalopoulos [13][14]
  • On 13 July 2008, he was interviewed on Sky News by Adam Boulton.[15]

Notes

  1. ^ English pronunciation:

References

  1. ^ article by Amany Al SayyedThe Daily StarBeirut
  2. ^ Christian Science Monitor article by Tome Peter: "Backstory: A Country-Western Muslim" (April 4, 2007).
  3. ^ a b c : “Muslim singer with a country twang” by Neil McFarquhar (November 13, 2007)New York Times
  4. ^ US Embassy in France site: Diverse audience enjoys Embassy program with country western singer Kareem Salama
  5. ^ Kareem Salama performance during the Global Peace and Unity event
  6. ^ Second part of Kareem Salama performance during the Global Peace and Unity event
  7. ^ ABC News: Muslim-American Country Singer in Syria, Tours Middle East
  8. ^ Altmuslim: “There's Something Reverent About Country Music” by Shahed Amanullah, April 17, 2007
  9. ^ The WitWits official website
  10. ^ The WitWits Facebook site
  11. ^ interviews Kareem SalamaFox News
  12. ^ France 24Kareem Salama on
  13. ^ Part 1 of Kareem Salama interview in "From America" on ART Satellite television
  14. ^ Part 2 of Kareem Salama interview on ART Satellite television
  15. ^ interviews Kareem SalamaSky News

External links

  • Kareem Salama Official website
  • MySpace
  • LightRain Records official website
  • The WitWits Official website