||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2013)|
Singing in Radio 1 party, Dubai 2007
|Birth name||Carl Abou Samah|
|Also known as||KW|
April 18, 1979 |
|Origin||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Genres||Pop, R&B, soul, fusion|
|Occupations||Singer, songwriter, record producer, musician|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano|
|Years active||2001 – present|
Universal Republic (2010)
Universal Music Canada (2011 - Present)
Carl Abou Samah (Arabic: كارل أبو سمح; born April 18, 1979) 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.
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'. 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. 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)
In 2005 Wolf ventured into a solo career. He released his debut solo album Face Behind the Face" in January 2006. Since its release, the album broke in the Canadian Top 100 sales chart and spawned three singles, "Butterflies" and "Desensitize", with the latter track (featuring hip hop star Choclair) reaching the BDS Top 40 charts and "Referee".
Wolf followed with a second studio album Bite the Bullet in November 2007. The first single release from the album was "Africa", 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 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.
Wolf announced on Sunday June 21, 2009 at the MuchMusic Video Awards, that he was recording a new album due to be out by the end of this year (2009) or by early 2010. The album Nightlife, his third album was released on 17 November 2009. He has had two singles emanating from the album, "Yalla Habibi" and "Hurting".
In February 2010, he signed a record deal with Universal Republic Records for United States distribution. After great success in Canada, "Africa" will become the first single released in the United States through the Universal Republic record deal.
Karl Wolf's new album called Finally Free was released in 2012. He is currently engaging on a pan-Canadian and international tour to promote the album with Universal Music.
Lone Wolf Management / LW Entertainment / LW Records
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). These are the producing wing of Karl Wolf's operations. Before becoming a solo artist, Karl Wolf had his break as a songwriter / producer and at 22, won "Best Mix and Sound of the Year" at L'ADISQ.
- Lone Wolf Management
In 2012, Karl Wolf announced that he was managing four new artists through his company Lone Wolf Management which is his artist management division. The signed artists are:
- Craig Smart
- Cassandra Debison
- DJ RomeoAM (Karl Wolf's official DJ)
Karl Wolf has collaborated with a number of artists, mainly from Canada:
- He was featured in Quebec rapper and VJ Malik Shaheed's song "Get Down / Respire"
- His song "Hollow Girl" features Quebec artist Striger
- His song "Desensitize" features Canadian rapper Choclair
- He is featured in Choclair's song and music video of "Weekend" from Choclair's Flagship album
- He released with Eve a bilingual (English / French version) of his single "Butterflies" (Co-written by Jordan Kaahn)
- He was featured in Taio Cruz recording "Crazy Girl"
- His song "Like This" features Sandman
- His song "Africa" features Canadian rapper Culture
- His special track "Triple R" features international rap artist Snoop Dogg
- His single "Yalla Habibi" features Rime and Kaz Money
- He is featured in Jacob Guay's bilingual French/English single "Si Jeune" (Written by Jordan Kaahn and produced by Karl Wolf)
- The Jenna single "What Happened to Us" features Karl Wolf
- His single "Hurting" features Sway
- The Jay Sean single "Yalla Asia" dedicated to 2011 AFC Asian Cup held in Qatar features Karl Wolf and Radhika Vekaria
- His single "Ghetto Love" features Kardinal Offishall
- He released a bilingual (English / French version) of his single "Ghetto Love" (co-written by Jordan Kaahn)
- He was featured in "All Wrong", a hit single of Marc Mysterio that also features Dhany in addition to Wolf
- His single "Fuck Shit Up / Mash It Up" produced by Greg Stainer & Dany Neville features Three 6 Mafia
- He is featured in "Kol Hayati" (meaning All my life in Arabic), a track in Diana Haddad new album Bent Osol
- He is featured in "Awel Mara Atgara" (meaning the first time I dare), a track by Sandy
- He is featured in "Fire" by David Obegi
In popular culture
- 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" and "Africa"
- In 2011, the organizers of 2011 AFC Asian Cup held in Qatar chose Jay Sean and Karl Wolf to perform the official song of the soccer championship. The song "Yalla Asia" credits Jay Sean and Karl Wolf featuring Radhika Vekaria. The music video for the song was widely used during the championship.
- In 2011, he organized a Close Up Arabia campaign for recruiting participants in a music video project of his. and the resulting music video
|Year||Album details||Chart positions|
|2006||Face Behind the Face||—|
|2007||Bite the Bullet
|2005||"Butterflies"||—||—||Face Behind the Face|
|2006||"Desensitize" (feat. Choclair)||—||—|
|"Triple R" (feat. Snoop Dogg)||—||—||non-album single|
|2007||"She Wants to Know"||—||—||Bite the Bullet|
|2008||"Africa" (feat. Culture)||2||20|
|"Yalla Habibi" (feat. Rime Salmi & Kaz Money)||24||51||
|2010||"Hurting" (feat. Sway)||55||—|
|2011||"Ghetto Love" (feat. Kardinal Offishall)||20||—||
|"Mash It Up" / "Fuck Shit Up" (feat. Three 6 Mafia)||28||—||
|2012||"DJ Gonna Save Us" (feat. Mr. OxXx)||58||—|
|"#1" (feat. Demarco)||—||—|
|2013||"Go Your Own Way" (feat. Reema Major)||—||—||non-album single|
- 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)
|Date||Song title||Performing credits||Peak Chart
|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||
|2011||"All Wrong"||Marc Mysterio feat. Karl Wolf and Jamie Sparks||
|2012||"Awel Mara Atgara"||Sandy feat. Karl Wolf||
|2012||"Turn It Up"||Kardinal Offishall feat. Karl Wolf||
|2012||"Frente A Frente"||DJ Ricky Campanelli feat. Karl Wolf||
|2013||"Unbreakable"||DJ Antoine feat. Karl Wolf||
||Sky Is The Limit by DJ Antoine|
|2013||"Stick Up"||Shawn Desman feat. Karl Wolf||
|2013||"Fire"||David Obegi feat. Karl Wolf||
Awards and nominations
|Awards and nominations for Karl Wolf|
|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
|2007||Juno Awards||R&B/Soul Recording of the Year||Face Behind the Face||Nominated|
|2008||MTV Europe Music Awards||Best Arabia Act||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|
|Canadian Radio Music Awards||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|
- Today's Outlook Magazine :: Lebanese Abroad[dead link]
- "Interview: Karl Wolf". ShaveMagazine.com. Retrieved 2010-05-31.
- "Artists | Sky". MuchMusic.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
- "Karl Wolf Biography". Maplemusic.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
- YouTube - Karl Wolf - Butterflies[dead link]
- YouTube - Karl Wolf Feat. Choclair - Desensitize[dead link]
- YouTube - Karl Wolf Feat. Culture of "Africa"
- "Billboard Canadian Hot 100 Chart". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
- "Performance of "Butterfly" on Star Academy". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
- "Performance of "Africa" in Star Academy". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
- The theme song "Yalla Asia! for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup
- "Welcome to CloseUp - Feel Fresh". Closeuparabia.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
- "Karl Wolf chart positions". Acharts.us. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
- "Karl Wolf certifications". Music Canada. 2011-12-01. Retrieved 2011-12-01.
- Cover of single "Yalla Asia"
- "MTV Europe Awards ceremony in Liverpool (6 November 2008) with Karl Wolf receiving Best Arabia New Act award". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
- "Gala SOBA page". MusiquePlus. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
- 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.
- "CBC News: "Nickelback, Karl Wolf lead race for radio airplay awards"". Cbc.ca. 2010-01-13. Retrieved 2011-03-10.