Karl Wolf

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Karl Wolf
Karl singing.jpg
Singing in Radio 1 party, Dubai 2007
Background information
Birth name Carl Abou Samah
Also known as KW
Born (1979-04-18) April 18, 1979 (age 35)
Beirut, Lebanon
Origin Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Genres Pop, R&B, soul, fusion
Occupations Singer, songwriter, record producer, musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano
Years active 2001 – present
Labels LW Records
LW Entertainment
EMI (2001–2010)
Universal Republic (2010)
Universal Music Canada (2011 - Present)
Associated acts Sky
Website www.karlwolf.com

Carl Abou Samah (Arabic: كارل أبو سمح‎; born April 18, 1979)[1] better known by his stage name Karl Wolf is a Lebanese-born Canadian musician based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He has been a singer, songwriter and producer since 2001, releasing his first solo album Face Behind the Face on MapleNationwide/Universal in January 2006, followed by a second album Bite the Bullet in November 2007. His third album Nightlife was released on November 17, 2009. After 9 years with EMI Music, in March 2010 he signed a new recording contract in the United States with Universal Republic followed by a worldwide deal with Universal Music Canada in 2011. EMI Japan and EMI Middle East who still had exclusive license to Karl Wolf's upcoming album released Finally Free, his fourth album on July 10, 2012. Through his company, Lone Wolf Management, Karl Wolf also manages a number of new artists.

Early years[edit]

Wolf was born as Carl Abou Samah in Beirut, Lebanon. He moved on with his family to Dubai, UAE when he was three-years-old due to the civil war in Lebanon. He studied in UAE's International School of Choueifat. In an interview with Shave Magazine, Karl explained that in Arabic, his family name (Abou Samah) means 'father of forgiveness'.[2] His stage name 'wolf' comes from a nickname he received on his high school basketball team because he was the smallest and quickest in his team. He also says his mother and father drove him to a career in music. Wolf's mother was a piano teacher and his father played guitar, drums and the traditional Middle Eastern oud.

At 17, Wolf immigrated to Canada in 1995, residing in Montreal, Quebec. He began his career "behind the scenes," and has been writing co-producing since 2001. Initially he was a backup singer for some hits by the Quebec band Dubmatique. The 2001 hit album from Gabrielle Destroismaisons generated two singles co-written by him that reached #1 on the BDS Francophone Charts, and the record earned him a Félix Award at the L'ADISQ Awards for "Best Mix and Sound of the Year".

Wolf's work with Gabrielle brought him to the attention of Antoine Sicotte, of the top-selling Canadian pop band Sky, where he was recruited as a singer-songwriter becoming Sky's new lead singer in 2002.[3] Wolf co-wrote and co-produced the third Sky album, Picture Perfect (on Sextant/EMI), with strong airplay across Canada. Sicotte and Wolf cooperated on the hugely successful Star Académie reality TV show in Quebec. The subsequent album was the biggest-selling album in Canada in 2003, notching a phenomenal sales in Canadian terms and earning Karl Wolf a SOCAN Award for Most Popular Song. A Star Académie II sequel in 2004 was another big success, the album going double-platinum.

Solo years (since 2005)[edit]

Karl Wolf performing in Montreal in June 2011

In 2005 Wolf ventured into a solo career. He released his debut solo album Face Behind the Face"[4] in January 2006. Since its release, the album broke in the Canadian Top 100 sales chart and spawned three singles, "Butterflies".[5] and "Desensitize",[6]

Wolf followed with a second studio album Bite the Bullet in November 2007. The first single release from the album was "Africa",[7] a remake of the worldwide hit Africa by Toto. The Karl Wolf remake features Canadian artist Culture. In early March 2009, with the release of the single on iTunes for digital downloads, it surged up from #32 to #2[8] on the issue of March 14, 2009 based on huge amounts of downloads over the previous week. It peaked at #1 on the iTunes charts and It also stayed at #2 for four further week on the chart of March 21 and 28 and April 4 and 11, 2009. Prior to iTunes download, it had topped at #20 in the same chart. This is so far Karl Wolf's most successful single to date. The song also topped the MuchMusic Top 30 Countdown charts and has also found success in Japan, peaking at #20 on the Japan Hot 100 chart. His follow up single this year titled "Carrera" climbed to peak at #39 on the Bilboard Canadian Hot 100.

Nightlife, his third album was released on 17 November 2009.

Lone Wolf Management / LW Entertainment / LW Records[edit]

In addition to his solo career, Wolf has established "LW Entertainment" and his own record label "LW Records" and recording studio (with LW standing for Lone Wolf).

Karl Wolf has also produced for Quebec singers Mitsou, Emily, Jérôme-Philippe (aka Disoul) also becoming for a time, part of the latter's band Dubmatique.

Collaborations[edit]

Karl Wolf has collaborated with a number of artists, mainly from Canada:

In popular culture[edit]

  • Karl Wolf was a featured artist on the Arabic version of Star Academy broadcast on Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC). In the fifth season of the show, he was seen mentoring the contestants. Some joined him for renditions of his hits, including "Butterfly"[9] and "Africa"[10]
  • In 2011, he organized a Close Up Arabia campaign for recruiting participants in a music video project of his.[11] and the resulting music video

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Chart positions
CAN
2006 Face Behind the Face
  • Released: February 14, 2006
  • Label: LW
  • Format: CD
2007 Bite the Bullet
  • Released: July 11, 2007
  • Label: LW/EMI Arabia
  • Format: CD
100
2009 Nightlife
  • Released: November 17, 2009
  • Label: LW/EMI Arabia
  • Format: CD
2012 Finally Free
  • Released: July 10, 2012
  • Label: LW/Universal
  • Format: CD

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart positions[12] Certifications Album
CAN JPN
2005 "Butterflies" Face Behind the Face
2006 "Desensitize" (feat. Choclair)
"Referee"
2007 "She Wants to Know" Bite the Bullet
2008 "Africa" (feat. Culture) 2 20
2009 "Carrera" 39
"Yalla Habibi" (feat. Rime Salmi & Kaz Money) 24 51 Nightlife
2010 "Hurting" (feat. Sway) 55
"80's Baby"
2011 "Ghetto Love" (feat. Kardinal Offishall) 20 Finally Free
"Mash It Up" / "Fuck Shit Up" (feat. Three 6 Mafia) 28
2012 "DJ Gonna Save Us" (feat. Mr. OxXx) 58
2013 "Go Your Own Way" (feat. Reema Major)
2014 "Magic Hotel" (feat. Timbaland & BK Brasco) 75 Stereotype
"Summertime"
Others
  • 2007: "Hollow Girl" (feat. Striger)
  • 2007: "Butterflies" (with Eve)
  • 2008: "Like This" (feat. Sandman)
  • 2009: "Maniac Maniac" (feat. Culture)
  • 2009: "You Forgot About Me" (feat. Imposs)
  • 2009: "No Way Nobody" (feat. Loon)
  • 2011: "Tell Me" (feat. Nirvana Savoury)

Featured artist[edit]

Date Song title Performing credits Peak Chart
Position
CAN
Album title
2006 "Get Down / Respire" VJ Malik Shaheed feat. Karl Wolf
 –
Franglais by Malik Shaheed
2006 "Weekend" Choclair feat. Karl Wolf
 –
Flagship by Choclair
2008 "Crazy Girl" Taio Cruz feat. Karl Wolf
 –
2010 "Si jeune" Jacob Guay feat. Karl Wolf
 –
Si Jeune by Jacob Guay
2011 "Enta Ma'ai" Diana Haddad feat. Karl Wolf
 –
Bent Osol by Diana Haddad
2011 "Yalla Asia" Jay Sean and Karl Wolf[14]
 –
non-album single
2011 "All Wrong" Marc Mysterio feat. Karl Wolf and Jamie Sparks
 –
non-album single
2012 "Awel Mara Atgara" Sandy feat. Karl Wolf
 –
2012 "Turn It Up" Kardinal Offishall feat. Karl Wolf
32
2012 "Frente A Frente" DJ Ricky Campanelli feat. Karl Wolf
 –
Modestia Aparte
2013 "Unbreakable" DJ Antoine feat. Karl Wolf
 –
Sky Is The Limit by DJ Antoine
2013 "Stick Up" Shawn Desman feat. Karl Wolf
 –

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards and nominations for Karl Wolf
Year Award Category Nominated Work Result
2001 ADISQ (Felix Award) Best Mix and Sound of the Year "Gabrielle Destroismaisons" Won
2004 SOCAN Best popular song "Je vais changer le monde"
(Star Académie) in Quebec
Won
2007 Juno Awards R&B/Soul Recording of the Year Face Behind the Face Nominated
2008 MTV Europe Music Awards Best Arabia Act[15] Himself Won
2009 MuchMusic Video Awards Favourite New Artist/Group Himself Nominated
Pop Video of the Year "Africa" Nominated
2010 Sounds of Blackness Awards Best Anglophone R&B Artist or Group of the Year Himself Won
Anglophone Single of the Year "Africa" Won[16]
Canadian Radio Music Awards[17][18] Fan's Choice Award Himself Nominated
Best New Group or Solo Mainstream A/C Artist of the Year Himself (for "Africa") Nominated
Best New Group or Solo Hot A/C Artist of the Year Himself (for "Africa") Won
SOCAN Urban Music Award "Africa" Won
SOCAN Anglophone Song of the Year "Africa" Won
2011 Juno Awards R&B/Soul Recording of the Year Nightlife Nominated
2012 Juno Awards R&B/Soul Recording of the Year "Ghetto Love" Nominated
2012 SOCAN Anglophone Song of the Year "Hurting" Won
2013 Canadian Urban Music Awards Urban Artist of The Year Himself Won
2013 SOCAN Anglophone Song of the Year "Mash It Up" Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ Today's Outlook Magazine :: Lebanese Abroad[dead link]
  2. ^ "Interview: Karl Wolf". ShaveMagazine.com. Retrieved 2010-05-31. 
  3. ^ "Artists | Sky". MuchMusic.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  4. ^ "Karl Wolf Biography". Maplemusic.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  5. ^ YouTube - Karl Wolf - Butterflies[dead link]
  6. ^ YouTube - Karl Wolf Feat. Choclair - Desensitize[dead link]
  7. ^ YouTube - Karl Wolf Feat. Culture of "Africa"
  8. ^ "Billboard Canadian Hot 100 Chart". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  9. ^ "Performance of "Butterfly" on Star Academy". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  10. ^ "Performance of "Africa" in Star Academy". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  11. ^ "Welcome to CloseUp - Feel Fresh". Closeuparabia.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  12. ^ "Karl Wolf chart positions". Acharts.us. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  13. ^ a b c d e "Karl Wolf certifications". Music Canada. 2011-12-01. Retrieved 2011-12-01. 
  14. ^ Cover of single "Yalla Asia"
  15. ^ "MTV Europe Awards ceremony in Liverpool (6 November 2008) with Karl Wolf receiving Best Arabia New Act award". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  16. ^ "Gala SOBA page". MusiquePlus. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  17. ^ Your Name (this will appear with your post). "Broadcaster Magazine: "Karl Wolf and Nickelback Lead Nominations for Radio Music Awards"". Broadcastermagazine.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  18. ^ "CBC News: "Nickelback, Karl Wolf lead race for radio airplay awards"". Cbc.ca. 2010-01-13. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 

External links[edit]