Maher Zain

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Maher Zain
ماهر زين
Maher Zain at Tuisa charity concert Essen Germany 2012.jpg
Background information
Birth name Maher Mustafa Maher Zain
Born (1981-07-16) 16 July 1981 (age 33)
Tripoli, Lebanon
Origin Sweden
Genres R&B, Soul music, Pop music, World music, Acoustic music, Nasheed
Occupations Singer, songwriter, musician, composer, music producer
Instruments Guitar, piano, keyboard, percussion, synthesizers
Years active 2009–present
Labels Awakening Records
Sony Music
Associated acts Irfan Makki
Mesut Kurtis
Website www.maherzain.com

Maher Zain (Arabic: ماهر زين‎ ; born 16 July 1981[1] in Tripoli, Lebanon) is a Muslim Swedish R&B singer, songwriter and music producer of Lebanese origin. He released his debut album Thank You Allah, an internationally successful album with strong Muslim religious influences, in 2009. He released his follow-up album Forgive Me on 2 April 2012.

Career[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

Maher Zain's Lebanese family immigrated to Sweden when he was eight. He completed his schooling there, gaining a Bachelors degree in Aeronautical Engineering. After university, he entered the music industry in Sweden and linked up with RedOne, the Moroccan-born Swedish producer, in 2005.[2] When RedOne moved to New York in 2006, Maher Zain followed soon after to continue his music industry career in the USA producing for artists such as Kat DeLuna.[3]

On returning home to Sweden, he became engaged once more with his Islamic faith and decided to move away from a career as a music producer to become a singer/songwriter of contemporary R&B music with a strong Muslim religious influence.[4]

Breakthrough success[edit]

In January 2009, Maher Zain began working on an album with Awakening Records. His debut album, Thank You Allah, with 13 songs and two bonus tracks, was released on 1 November 2009 with percussion versions and French versions of some tracks released shortly afterwards.[5]

Zain and Awakening Records successfully used social media such as Facebook, YouTube[6] and iTunes to promote tracks from the album.[7][8] In early 2010 his music very quickly gathered a huge online following in Arabic-speaking and Islamic countries as well as among young Muslims in western countries.[9] By the end of 2010, he was the most Googled celebrity in Malaysia for that year.[8] Malaysia and Indonesia have been the countries where he has had the most commercial success. The album Thank You Allah has been certified multiple platinum by Warner Music Malaysia and Sony Music Indonesia.[2] It became the highest selling album of 2010 in Malaysia.[10]

Zain sings mainly in English but has released some of his most popular songs in other languages. The song "Insha Allah", for example, is now available in English, French, Arabic, Turkish, Malay and Indonesian versions. Another song, "Allahi Allah Kiya Karo" ("Continuously Saying Allah"), is sung in Urdu and features the Pakistan born Canadian singer Irfan Makki.[7]

Collaborations, appearances and awards[edit]

In January 2010, Maher Zain won Best Religious Song for 'Ya Nabi Salam Alayka', on Nogoum FM, a major Middle East mainstream music station, beating other prominent singers including Hussein Al-Jismi, Mohammed Mounir and Sami Yusuf.[11]

In March 2011, Maher Zain released "Freedom",[7] a song inspired by the events and the actions of the people taking part in the Arab Spring.

Maher Zain was chosen as a Muslim Star of 2011 in a competition organized by Onislam.net.[12] In July 2011 he featured on the cover of the UK Muslim lifestyle magazine Emel.[13]

Zain was featured on Irfan Makki's track "I Believe" from his debut studio album of the same name.[14]

Maher Zain has appeared in a 40-episode Indonesian TV drama, entitled Insya-Allah. The show was aired on Malaysian satellite TV channel, Astro Oasis and Mustika HD, starting from 17 July 2012, concurrent with the broadcasting of the show on Indonesia's SCTV.[15]

In 2013, he took part in the Colors of Peace project constituting songs based on works by Fethullah Gülen on the album Rise Up where Maher Zain performs the track "This Worldly Life".[16][17]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album details Certifications
(sales thresholds)
2009 Thank You Allah
  • 8x Platinum, Warner Music Malaysia[18]
  • 2x Platinum, Sony Music Indonesia[2]
2012 Forgive Me
  • 4x Platinum, Warner Music Malaysia[19]

Videography[edit]

  • 2009: "Palestine Will Be Free"
  • 2010: "Thank You Allah (Alhamdulillah)"
  • 2010: "Insha Allah"
  • 2010: "Allahi Allah Kiya Karo (Live)"
  • 2010: "The Chosen One"
  • 2011: "Freedom"
  • 2011: "Ya Nabi Salam Alayka"
  • 2011: "For the Rest of My Life"
  • 2012: "Number One For Me"
  • 2012: "Forgive Me"
  • 2012: "Open Your Eyes"
  • 2012: "So Soon"
  • 2013: "Love Will Prevail"
  • 2013: "Ramadan"
  • 2014: "Muhammad (Pbuh)
  • 2014: "Samih"
  • 2014: "Radhitu billahi rabba"
Featured in
  • 2011: "I Believe" (Irfan Makki feat. Maher Zain) (in Irfan Makki's album "I Believe")
  • 2011: "Never Forget" (Mesut Kurtis feat. Maher Zain) (in Mesut Kurtis' album "Beloved")

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://twitter.com/MaherZain/status/312996761113346049
  2. ^ a b c Entertainment (2011-08-10). Maher Zain's Hip but Pious Soundtrack to the Arab Spring. The Atlantic retrieved 10 October 2011
  3. ^ Eena Houzyama (2010-10-11). Thank God for Maher Zain. The Malay Mail, retrieved 10 October 2011
  4. ^ Maher Zain. IslamicLyrics Website, retrieved 10 October 2011
  5. ^ Music & Festivals Maher Zain Interview. Time Out Beirut, retrieved 14 October 2011
  6. ^ Admin (2010-11-16). Muslim Singer Maher Zain. NXT News, retrieved 14 October 2011
  7. ^ a b c Lisa Siregar (2011-05-02). A Portrait of  the Artist As a Young Muslim. Jakarta Globe, retrieved 14 October 2011
  8. ^ a b 2011-08-26 Being pious in the heart of modernity. New Straits Time, retrieved 14 October 2011[dead link]
  9. ^ Sundus Awan (Transcribed) 2010-11-29. Maher Zain Interview. The Muslim Youth Voice Website, retrieved 14 October 2011
  10. ^ News Summary (January 2011). Awakening artist Maher Zain receives 8 platinums. Awakening Worldwide retrieved 14 October 2011
  11. ^ News Summary (January 2010). Maher Zain wins Nugoom FM's Best Song Award. Awakening Worldwide retrieved 2 September 2011
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ Issue 82 (July 2011). Maher Zain digital issue - OUT NOW! The Emel Website, retrieved 18 October 2011
  14. ^ I Believe Lyrics. IslamicLyrics Website, retrieved 18 October 2011
  15. ^ Maher Zain bintangi sinetron Harian Metro retrieved 26 June 2012
  16. ^ Radikal: Barış için müzikal birlik (In Turkish)
  17. ^ Zaman Online: Savaşın karşısına Hocaefendi’nin şiirlerinden oluşan albümle çıktılar (In Turkish)
  18. ^ Maher Zain receives 8 platinums in Malaysia Awakening Worldwide, retrieved January 2011
  19. ^ "Meet Maher Zain". New Straits Times. Digital Collections DC5: Text Archive. April 25, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-09. 

External links[edit]