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|Years active||1990 – present|
Michael Heart (born Annas Allaf, Arabic: أنس علاف) is a Syrian American singer-songwriter, recording artist, guitarist, Oud player, producer and audio engineer based in Los Angeles, CA. He was born in Syria and raised in Europe (Switzerland and Austria) and the United States.
He started playing piano and guitar at age 10. Shortly thereafter, he began songwriting and eventually progressed towards recording. After earning his audio engineering degree from Full Sail University, he moved to Los Angeles in 1990 and began working on the local studio circuit as a session guitarist and a recording engineer.
In 2008, he independently released his debut solo album "Unsolicited Material". The album is a collection of Pop/Rock songs with lyrical content covering such topics as adultery ("Living In Sin"), war ("Damaged World"), domestic violence ("Finally Free") and the challenges of making a living ("Life Goes On").
He has worked with such artists as Brandy, Will Smith, Toto, Natalie Cole, The Temptations, Phil Collins, Patty LaBelle, The Pointer Sisters, Earth Wind & Fire, Ricky Lee Jones, Lou Rawls, Jesse McCartney, Hilary Duff, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Paige, Al Jarreau, K-Ci & JoJo, Deborah Cox, Monica, Taylor Dayne, Keiko Matsui, Steve Nieves, Luis Miguel and Tarkan ... he also worked in the studio with French artists like Calogero (Les Charts), Marc Lavoine and Véronique Sanson. Other projects also included work with producers Rodney Jerkins, Philippe Saisse and David Foster. ... most of Michael’s work has been in the recording studio, he has also done some touring (notably back in the early 90’s, when he toured as a Flamenco guitarist in a guitar trio with Juan Manuel Canizares, opening for Dire Straits) ... also recorded and toured with the smooth jazz band Jango. On most of these recording credits, Michael is credited with his real name as “Annas Allaf".
Heart has also done some work as a musician for various Film & Television projects. The most recent such project involved him playing Oud on the soundtrack of American Odyssey, an NBC TV drama directed by Peter Horton, with music composed by John Debney.
In 2016, Heart released a couple of Pop/Rock singles titled "I Just Wanna Be With You" and "Just Be".
Activism and charity
Song for Gaza
In January 2009, he composed and released a song in support of the Palestinian civilian victims of the Israeli war in Gaza. The song is called "We Will Not Go Down (Song For Gaza)" and gained popularity on sites like YouTube. The official YouTube video of the song was viewed over 1 million times within a month of its release; the recording of the song was broadcast on radio and television in many countries along with blogs and websites worldwide and it was chanted in many demonstrations in cities ranging from Sydney, Australia to London, England. The Palestine Argentine Delegation Embassy website also put the song with lyrics on its page.
Heart initially made the mp3 of the song freely downloadable from his official website, which he reports has been downloaded over 500,000 times, encouraging the listeners to make a donation to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). After frequent emails from people asking why the song hadn't been made available on iTunes, he finally uploaded it to the Apple music site in July 2010.
In January 2010, Heart co-wrote a song with British songwriter Mark Holding, in support of the victims of the Haiti earthquake. The song is titled Help is on the Way (Song for Haiti) and once again, the YouTube video encouraged viewers to make donations to the victims of the earthquake.
A song inspired by the Arab Spring"
Song for Syria
The song is titled "What About Us (Song for Syria)"
- Unsolicited Material (2008)
- Living In Sin 4:03,
- Life Goes On 3:59,
- Lost In You 3:53,
- Damaged World 4:00,
- Wanna Be Bad 3:50,
- I Just Don't Understand 4:27,
- Denial 3:47,
- Don't Want This Love 3:37,
- Finally Free 4:30,
- What Will It Take 4:23,
- "We Will Not Go Down (Song for Gaza)" 2009
- "Help is on the Way (Song for Haiti)" 2010
- "Freedom" 2011
- "What About Us (Song for Syria)" 2013
- "Just Be" 2016
- "I Just Wanna Be With You" 2016
- 'Song for Gaza' captures hearts of YouTube viewers[permanent dead link] Jerusalem Post Jan 18, 2009 by David Brinn
- We will not go down (Song for Gaza) Official Video at YouTube
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
- Michael Heart 'We will not Go Down' played in London Gaza Rally 17th Jan 2009 YouTube video
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-07-03. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-01-08. Retrieved 2010-01-13.
- "HELP IS ON THE WAY" (Song for Haiti) - Michael Heart