Kareem Salama

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Kareem Salama
Kareem Salama.jpg
Background information
Birth name Kareem Salama
Born 1978 (age 35–36)
Ponca City, Oklahoma, United States
Origin Ponca City, Oklahoma, United States
Genres Country, Pop
Occupations Singer, Songwriter, Musician
Instruments Vocals, Guitar
Years active 2006–present
Labels LightRain Records
Website kareemsalama.com

Kareem Salama (Arabic: كريم سلامة‎; born 1978) is an Egyptian American musician. He is known as 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[edit]

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] He is also a sportsman practicing amateur boxing.

Career[edit]

With his parent's encouragement and financial assistance, both American-trained engineers, 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 wide 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. Salama was also invited to dinner at the White House where he met President Barack Obama who said to Salama "You can sing!".[citation needed] 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[edit]

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[edit]

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] The WitWits have also taken part in three release features by Kareem Salama, in "Makes Me Crazy", a promotional song for the project, "Be Free Now" featuring Kelley Peters with appearances of all the kids and "1980 Something" a long video featuring The WitWits in musical as well as theatrical presentation.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

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[edit]

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

Singles[edit]

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[edit]

  • "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[edit]

  • 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]
  • In December 2007, two thousand Muslim Americans were asked what they wished to say to the rest of the world. Some of their answers were used in the video presentation, using Kareem Salama's song. Lena Khan used Kareem Salama song "A Land Called Paradise" and put out an independent video based on the various quotations received from the survey of Muslim Americans.

References[edit]

External links[edit]