Salem Al Fakir

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Salem Al Fakir
Salem Al Fakir 20071118 Stockholm 5.jpg
Al Fakir in 2007.
Background information
Birth name Lars Salem Al Fakir
Also known as Damien Adore
Born (1981-10-27) October 27, 1981 (age 34)
Genres Soul, pop, jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, singer
Instruments Vocal, guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, violin
Years active 2006–present
Labels EMI
Associated acts Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso, J-Son, Avicii, Axwell Λ Ingrosso

Lars Salem Al Fakir (Arabic: سالم الفقير‎‎; born October 27, 1981) is a Swedish soul/pop musician and singer of paternal Syrian origin.[1] He is most famous for his chart topping albums This Is Who I Am (2007), Astronaut (2009) and Ignore This (2010). He took part in Melodifestivalen 2010 with "Keep on Walking" finishing second behind winner Anna Bergendahl. Internationally he is known for his song "It's True", which was remixed by Swedish house DJs Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso, and for being featured as a vocalist in the Avicii songs "Silhouettes" and "You Make Me", both of which were hits in many countries including the United Kingdom and the United States.

Early years[edit]

Salem learned to play violin at the age of four and subsequently toured Russia as a solo violinist at the age of fourteen, but returned to Sweden to study jazz piano. As a student he attended the Adolf Fredrik's Music School in Stockholm.[2]

Recording artist[edit]

During his career he has worked with artists including Robyn, Wille Crafoord and Snook. Along with elder brother Nassim, he is a member of the FakirKarlsson trio which teamed up with fellow jazz musicians the Örjan Hultén Trio and have released two albums as H3FK, most recently "Nubiska Nätter" released in 2008.

In the autumn of 2006 Salem released his first single, the "Dream Girl" EP, and his debut album was released in January 2007 to commercial success and critical acclaim. The album was recorded in Salem's basement and bedroom, and he was solely responsible for writing, mixing and producing the album. Salem also played all instruments on the album himself apart from horns played by his brother Sami, and drums on "Dream Girl" and "Bright Side Of Life" played by Tim Lundblad.

"Good Song" and "This Is Who I Am" were also released as singles. Dance producers Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso have also released their own remix of "It's True".

His re-recording of "It's Only You", a track from his debut album - now titled "It's Only You (Part II)" - is featured in a commercial for the Volvo XC60 car. An EP featuring "It's Only You Part II", "Twelve Fingers", "Dream Girl" and "It's True" was released in several European countries in November 2008.

Salem released his single "Astronaut" in Sweden on 4 March 2009. This was followed by the album of the same name on 18 March 2009.

"Roxy" was the next single to be released from the album "Astronaut".

On 16 November 2009, Salem Al Fakir was announced as a wildcard participant in Melodifestivalen 2010, the Swedish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2010. He took part with the song "Keep on Walking", which he wrote and composed himself.[3]

On 6 February 2010 Salem competed in the first heat of Melodifestivalen and qualified directly to the final in Globen, Stockholm on 13 March 2010 when he reached second place with "Keep on Walking".

"4 O'Clock" was the next single released from his third album "Ignore This". The song was also featured in a television advertising campaign for the Telia phone company in 2010.

He co-produced in 2011 with Avicii, in his song "Silhouettes", adding the vocals to this song. The song was officially released on April 27, 2012. He teamed up again with Avicii in 2013 being featured in the single "You Make Me" from his True album. In 2014 he teamed up with Avicii yet again to provide vocals for Avicii's own remix of Hey Brother named "Hey Brother (Avicii by Avicii)", and to help writing his newest single "The Days".


Salem played a number of live concerts and festivals in Sweden in 2007 and was also part of the "Parksommar - Just Another Summer" tour with Moneybrother and Sakert. Also summer 2007, Salem appeared at the "Grattis Victoria" concert which took place to celebrate the 30th birthday of Swedish Crown Princess Victoria. In 2010 Salem premiered a new song "All Day Love", which was specially written for Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling, at a concert in Stockholm Konserthuset on the eve of their wedding in June 2010.

In 2008 Salem played live in Norway and Denmark, where his debut album "This Is Who I Am" was also released. Salem also collaborated with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra at three concerts in Berwaldhallen, Stockholm in November 2008.

Salem undertook a short Swedish tour in April 2009 and then played a showcase gig at the Viper Room in Los Angeles during the MUSEXPO international music business event. During summer 2009, Salem played several Swedish dates including a further appearance at this year's birthday concert for Crown Princess Victoria. He also appeared on the "Polar Music Prize" ceremony which this year honoured Peter Gabriel; Salem sang "Solsbury Hill" at the beginning of this ceremony.

Towards the end of 2009 Salem played a short series of live dates in Sweden, culminating in three concerts at Berwaldhallen, Stockholm in December 2009 where he performed with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

In summer 2010 Salem undertook a summer tour of Sweden to promote his third album "Ignore This".

Awards and prizes[edit]

In September 2007 Salem was named as one of the recipients of the Monica Zetterlund scholarship, awarded in memory of the late Swedish jazz singer.

In October 2007 Salem received the Swedish music publishers' award for "Best Newcomer".

In January 2008 Salem was announced as this year's winner of the Expressen newspaper's "Spelmannen" prize.

Salem Al Fakir was nominated in seven categories for the Swedish Grammis which took place on 9 January 2008, at which he also performed "It's True". The categories are: best album ("This Is Who I Am") / newcomer / producer / male artist / song ("Good Song") / composer / lyricist. He won four awards, for best male artist, best newcomer, best composer and best producer, the most awards for any one artist at this year's ceremony.

Salem was also nominated in the newspaper Aftonbladet's "Rockbjörnen" music awards in the best newcomer category, whilst he received two nominations in Swedish radio station P3's "P3 Guld" awards, in the best male artist and best live act categories. However he failed to win any of these awards.

In 2010, Salem Al Fakir won the Composer Award for the Melodifestivalen-related Swedish Marcel Bezençon Awards for his song "Keep on Walking"

Together with Magnus Lidehäll and Vincent Pontare Salem Al Fakir won a Swedish grammis for "composer of the year".


Salem Al Fakir also writes music, mainly together with Magnus Lidehäll and Vincent Pontare. All of them are signed to Universal Music Publishing Group Scandinavia. At the 2014 Swedish grammis the trio won the award for "composer of the year" after a very successful year with Veronica Maggio’s album "Handen i fickan fast jag bryr mig" and the Petter album "Början på allt", and work with artists like Sebastian Ingrosso, Katy Perry, Galantis, Mapei and Seinabo Sey.[4]

In 2013 and 2014 Al Fakir, together with Vincent Pontare among others, wrote the songs The days, Hey Brother and You Make Me with Avicii.[5] Avicii later released a remix of the song Hey Brother which included Salem Al Fakir on vocals.

Salem Al Fakir, Vincent Pontare, Magnus Lidehäll and Oskar Linnros all worked together with Swedish artist Seinabo Sey on her debut EP "For Madeleine" which included the international hit "Younger".[6]

Together with Vincent Pontare, Axel Hedfors (Axwell) and Sebastian Ingrosso Al Fakir wrote the Axwell and Ingrosso track Something new.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Salem Al Fakir's father Nabil is of Syrian origin and originated from Damascus, whereas his mother, Inger, is from Sweden. Salem is the fourth of six siblings (Aminah, Ayman, Nassim, Salem, Sami and Fares).

Nassim Al Fakir (known as Nassim), born on 21 March 1977, is a musician and television personality particularly with children program Bolibompa on Swedish television SVT. He is also a comedian with a particularly strong following online. He released his debut album Ute och cyklar in February 2012.

Salem married Carolina, née Lavenius, on January 28, 2012. The couple has a daughter; Greta, born March 6, 2012.



Year Album Peak positions Certification
2007 This Is Who I Am 1
2009 Astronaut 7
2010 Ignore This 1


  • 2006: Dream Girl


As lead artist[edit]

Single Year Peak positions Album
"Dream Girl" 2006 25 This Is Who I Am
"Good Song" 36
"This Is Who I Am" 2007 43
"It's True" (with Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso 38
"It's Only You, Part 2" 2008 41 Astronaut
"Astronaut" 2009 34
"Keep on Walking" 2010 3 Ignore This
"4 O'Clock" 49
"Split My Personality"
"I'm So Happy"
(featuring Josephine Bornebusch)

As featured artist[edit]

Single Year Peak positions Certification Album
(J-Son featuring Salem Al Fakir)
2012 Non-album singles
(Avicii featuring Salem Al Fakir)
"You Make Me"
(Avicii featuring Salem Al Fakir)
2013 1
  • GLF: 4× Platinum[13]
  • ARIA: Platinum[11]
  • FIMI: Gold [14]
  • IFPI NOR: 2× Platinum
  • BPI: Gold[12]
  • RIAA: Gold[15]
"Something New"
(Axwell Λ Ingrosso featuring Salem Al Fakir)
2014 20
  • GLF: Platinum [16]
"On My Way"
(Axwell Λ Ingrosso featuring Salem Al Fakir)
2015 18
  • GLF: Platinum [17]
"Sun Is Shining"
(Axwell Λ Ingrosso featuring Vincent Pontare and Salem Al Fakir)


  1. ^ "Allt ljus på syskonen Al Fakir". 
  2. ^ Berit Nygren (28 May 2009). "Stor festival för Adolf Fredrik 70". Sveriges Radio (Swedish Government radio broadcaster). Retrieved 2014-10-11. 
  3. ^ Andra Melodifestivalen jokern klar Retrieved 20 March 2016[dead link]
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c "Salem Al Fakir discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Salem discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  10. ^ "Avicii – Silhouettes" (in Swedish). Grammofon Leverantörernas Förening. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2013 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "Certified Awards" (enter "Avicii" into the "Keywords" box, then select "Search"). British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  13. ^ "Avicii – You Make Me" (in Swedish). Grammofon Leverantörernas Förening. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Gold & Platinum: Avicii". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  16. ^ (Click "search all records" and view 24th April 2015)
  17. ^ (Click "search all records" and view 14th August 2015)
  18. ^ (Click "search all records" and view 26th February 2016)

External links[edit]