Raef (singer)

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Raef
Raef in London, United Kingdom 2017
Raef in London, United Kingdom 2017
Background information
Birth nameRaef Haggag
Born (1982-08-08) August 8, 1982 (age 37)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
OriginUnited States
Genres
Occupation(s)Singer
Instruments
Years active2006–present
LabelsAwakening 2012-present
Websitewww.raefmusic.com

Raef Haggag (Arabic: رائف حجاج‎; born August 8, 1982) is an Egyptian-American[1] singer.

Beginnings[edit]

Raef picked up playing guitar during his time at the University of Maryland, College Park where he studied computer science.[2]

After graduation, Raef worked briefly as a software engineer before leaving to teach high school for eight years. As he says:

"I decided to switch careers from a software eng. to a high school teacher because I wanted to help others in a more direct way (and because it was pretty boring sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours a day)".[3] Raef taught computer programming in Montgomery County Public Schools.[4]

Music career[edit]

Teaching gave Raef more time to focus on songwriting, often performing at local coffee shops and busking at metro stations. He was introduced to the national stage after his trio rock band "Great Seneca" toured the United States of America as part of the "Voices for Change" initiative. Raef also joined the "Poetic Vision Tour"; a band of traveling musicians and poets catering to the American Muslim community.[5] Raef did several Muslim-themed covers of popular mainstream songs, attracting young listeners wanting a modern take on religious music[6]

Raef signed with Awakening Records and released his debut album The Path in 2014.[7] In the summer of 2019 he released his second album Mercy with a notable shift towards rock and country music.[8]

Success in Indonesia[edit]

Since the release of his debut album The Path, Raef has made several trips to Indonesia to promote his music and perform at live concerts. Appearing on Indonesian national television and invited by Bandung mayor Ridwan Kamil to perform at the Bandung Conference brought Raef and his music to millions of Indonesians. Raef was also the star host on 30 episodes of The Journey of a Backpacker, a Ramadan TV series that aired on Kompas TV (later Trans7) across Indonesia and TV Alhijrah in Malaysia. In August 2015, Raef was awarded the "Platinum Award" for record sales in Indonesia.[9] Following the blueprint of Season 1 of "The Journey of a Backpacker" , Raef hosted Season 2, airing on Trans7, in which he traveled across Java, visiting 30 historic and iconic mosques.[10]

"We Are Home" – music video project[edit]

Using Detroit-based crowdfunding platform LaunchGood, over $22,000 via online donations were raised to fund the music video for "Home", directed by Los-Angeles based director, Lena Khan. The video shows Raef walking through American history observing contributions made by various immigrants to the United States.[11] The video also features contributions made by Native Americans.[12]

Philanthropy[edit]

(From left) Maher Zain, Irfan Makki, Raef, Hamza Namira, Mesut Kurtis in "Send a little hope" UK tour, London, April 2012.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Title Track list
2014 The Path
  1. Peace & Blessings (3:40)
  2. The Bright Moon (Tala'al Badru) (4:37)
  3. So Real (feat. Maher Zain) (4:02)
  4. You Are the One (3:38)
  5. Home (3:07)
  6. No One Knows but Me (4:00)
  7. The Path (3:43)
  8. Mawlaya (4:01)
  9. Call on Him (3:51)
  10. Freedom Ain't Free (feat. Nano Omar) (3:27)
  11. Dream (4:49)
  12. You're There (3:20)
2019 Mercy
  1. Alhamdu Lillah (3:07)
  2. Mercy (3:56)
  3. All About Me (3:42)
  4. More Than Me and You (4:29)
  5. Subhan Allah (3:43)
  6. Ramadan is Here (3:51)
  7. Trush (3:07)
  8. Dear America (3:29)
  9. My Life Matters (3:32)
  10. Southern Salawat (4:03)
  11. Muhammad Noor (feat. Sintesa) (3:25)
  12. The Land of Light (4:17)
  13. Who Are You? (3:32)
  14. All About Me (Acoustic) (feat. Dawud Wharnsby) (4:43)

Videography[edit]

Year Title Additional details
2011 "It's Jumuah [ Friday ]" Rebecca Black Cover
"Redemption Song" Bob Marley Cover
2012 "Your Mercy" Maroon 5 Cover
"Rabbee I'm Yours" Jason Mraz Cover
"With You" Chris Brown Cover)
"Man in the Mirror" Michael Jackson Cover)
2014 "So Real"
(Raef feat. Maher Zain)
"You Are The One Cartoon video
"You Are The One Music video
"Home" #WeAreHome video
2015 "Price Tag" / "Kun Anta" Jessie J / Humood Cover
"Tala'Al Badru
(D'MASIV with Raef)
"Deck the Halls" Cover
2017 "You're There"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bose, Ankita (22 Dec 2017). "Why this "Muslim Christmas song" is attracting both love and hate". Inauth.
  2. ^ Post, The Jakarta. "Raef Haggag: Fighting Islamophobia one note at a time". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  3. ^ Onbeing.org: One Voice: Raef Haggag
  4. ^ "The Voice of K–12 Computer Science Education and its Educators" (PDF). 8 (3). July 2012: 6. Retrieved 25 August 2014. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ "News, Prophet Muhammad: His Spiritual Life & Path -An inspiring evening of song, poetry, & commentary". Princeton University. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Halal Music Inspires World Muslim Youth". OnIslam.net. 14 April 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  7. ^ Shahid, Omar (13 April 2012). "Islamic singers rewrite western hits to find new audiences for 'faith-inspired' songs". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Raef Returns With a Ground-Breaking New Album - "Mercy" | Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  9. ^ Bintang.com: Susul Maher Zain, Raef Haggag Raih Platinum Award di Indonesia (in Indonesian)
  10. ^ (in Indonesian)
  11. ^ ShareAmerica: He sings about an America that is home to immigrants
  12. ^ https://www.launchgood.com/project/we_are_home
  13. ^ Save An Orphan website
  14. ^ Shahid, Omar (10 April 2012). "The Concert of the Year". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  15. ^ "Over £175,000 pledged on the night at our 'Send A Little Hope' charity concert!". saveanorphan.org. Retrieved 25 August 2014.

External links[edit]