Salem Al Fakir

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Salem Al Fakir
Salem Al-Fakir 2014-08-28 001.jpg
Background information
Birth nameLars Salem Al Fakir
Also known asLagola, Damien Adore
Born (1981-10-27) 27 October 1981 (age 37)
Huddinge, Sweden
  • Songwriter
  • producer
  • musician
  • singer
  • Vocals
  • piano
  • guitar
  • bass
  • keyboard
  • drums
  • violin
Years active2006–present
Associated acts

Lars Salem Al Fakir (born 27 October 1981) is a multiple Swedish Grammy Award winning songwriter, producer, musician and singer from Sweden.[1] He regularly collaborates with Vincent Pontare as songwriting, producer and artist duo Vargas & Lagola.[2] Together they have written, co-written and produced songs for the likes of Avicii, Axwell Ʌ Ingrosso, Madonna, Seinabo Sey and more. First release as Vargas & Lagola was "Rolling Stone" in January 2017.[3] They were later featured artist on Avicii's "Friend of Mine" from his 2017 EP "Avīci (01)", which they also co-wrote.


Early life and artist career[edit]

Salem Al Fakir performing in 2007.

Al Fakir 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.[4]

In the autumn of 2006, Al Fakir released his first EP "Dream Girl". He is most famous for his chart topping albums "This Is Who I Am" (2007), "Astronaut" (2009) and "Ignore This" (2010). At the Swedish Grammy Awards in 2008 he won big – taking home four awards and being nominated in seven categories.[5]

He took part in Melodifestivalen 2010, the Swedish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2010, with "Keep On Walking" and finished in second place.[6]

2010-present: songwriting[edit]

After his solo career, he became more focused on the songwriting. Beginning to collaborate with Avicii on "Silhouettes" in 2012.[7]

Among the first co-writes with Vincent Pontare are Avicii’s 2013 Billboard Hot 100 single "Hey Brother" and "Younger" by Seinabo Sey.[8]

At the 2014 Swedish Grammy Awards Salem Al Fakir, Vincent Pontare and Magnus Lidehäll were awarded Composer of the Year after writing for Veronica Maggio’s album "Handen i fickan fast jag bryr mig" and the Petter album "Början på allt", and work with artists like Galantis.[9]

In 2014, he wrote numerous songs on Mapei's album "Hey Hey" and Avicii's "The Days" and "Divine Sorrow" (with Wyclef Jean).[10]

Al Fakir followed up with another successful year in 2015 co-writing most songs on Seinabo Sey’s highly acclaimed debut album "Pretend" and songs for Madonna’s "Rebel Heart" album.[11][12]

Vargas & Lagola have co-written some of the biggest hits by Swedish artists including Axwell Ʌ Ingrosso's "More Than You Know" and "Sun Is Shining", and Avicii's "Without You" and "Waiting For Love".[13]


As Vargas and Lagola[edit]

As solo artist[edit]


Year Album Peak positions
2006 Dream Girl (EP)
2007 This Is Who I Am 1
2009 Astronaut 7
2010 Ignore This 1


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)
"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)

Uncredited vocal work[edit]

Single Year Credited artist(s) Peak positions Certification Album
"Silhouettes" 2012 Avicii 11 Non-album singles
"You Make Me" 2013 1
  • GLF: 4× Platinum[19]
  • ARIA: Platinum[17]
  • FIMI: Gold[20]
  • IFPI NOR: 2× Platinum
  • BPI: Gold[18]
  • RIAA: Gold[21]
"Something New" 2014 Axwell Λ Ingrosso 20 More Than You Know
"On My Way" 2015 18
  • GLF: 2× Platinum[24]
"Sun Is Shining" 1
"Renegade" 2017

Songwriting and production credits[edit]

Year Artist Title Album
2012 Avicii "Silhouettes" Non-album single
2013 Avicii "You Make Me" True
"Hey Brother"
2014 Galantis "Smile" Galantis (EP)
Mapei "Blame It On Me" Hey Hey
"As 1"
"Second to None"
"Step Up"
Wyclef Jean "Divine Sorrow"
(featuring Avicii)
Non-album single
Avicii "The Days" The Days/Nights
2015 Madonna "HeartBreakCity" Rebel Heart
"Wash All Over Me"
"Rebel Heart"
Galantis "Kill 'Em with the Love" Pharmacy
"Call If You Need Me"
Avicii "Waiting For Love" Stories
Seinabo Sey "Younger" Pretend
"Hard Time"
"Pistols At Dawn"
2016 MishCatt "Another Dimension" Highlighter
2017 Johnossi "On A Roll" Blood Jungle
Avicii "Friend Of Mine"
(featuring Vargas & Lagola)
Avīci (01)
"Without You"
(featuring Sandro Cavazza)
Toby Randall "Hold Me Down" ONE.
Axwell Λ Ingrosso "More Than You Know" More Than You Know
"Something New"
"This Time"
"Sun Is Shining"
"On My Way"
Axwell "Barricade"
2018 Seinabo Sey "I Owe You Nothing" TBA
(featuring Jacob Banks)
Ghost "Dance Macabre" Prequelle
"Life Eternal"
MagnusTheMagnus "It Don't Impress Me"
(featuring Madi Banja)
Non-album single

Songwriting and production credits for local Swedish artist[edit]

Year Artist Title Album
2013 Veronica Maggio "Sergels torg" Handen i fickan fast jag bryr mig
"Jag lovar"
"Hela huset"
(featuring Håkan Hellström)
"Va kvar"
"Låtsas som det regnar"
"Bas gillar hörn"
"I min bil"
Petter "Mighty"
(featuring Newkid)
Början på allt
"Början på allt"
(featuring Eye N'I)
"Håll om mig"
(featuring Daniel Adams-Ray)
"Tills döden skiljer oss åt"
(featuring Lilla Namo)
"Alla vet"
(featuring Agnes)
"Sitter på en dröm"
"Minnen del II"
"Släpp mig fri"
2016 Veronica Maggio "Den första är alltid gratis" Den första är alltid gratis
"Vi mot världen"
"Pang pang"
2018 Petter "Kliv på!"
(featuring Eye N'I)
Lev nu
"Lev nu dö sen"
(featuring Vargas & Lagola)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Category Nomination Outcome Ref.
2007 The Swedish MPA Awards Best Newcomer Himself Won [27]
The Monica Zetterlund Scholarship Young and Promising Artist Himself [28]
SKAP Anniversary Award - Himself [29]
2008 Expressen Kultur - Spelmannen - Himself [30]
Swedish Grammy Awards Composer of the Year Himself [31]
Male artist of the Year Himself
Producer of the Year Himself
Newcomer of the Year Himself
Song of The Year "Good Song" Nominated
Album of The Year "This Is Who I Am"
Lyricist of the Year Himself
P3 Guld Best Male Artist Himself [32]
Best New Artist Himself
2010 Swedish Grammy Awards Composer of the Year Himself [33]
Male Artist of the Year Himself
2011 Swedish Grammy Awards Song of the Year "Keep On Walking" [34]
Male Artist of the Year Himself
2014 Swedish Grammy Awards Composer of the Year Himself (with Vincent Pontare & Magnus Lidehäll) Won [35]
The Swedish MPA Awards International Success of the Year Himself (with Vincent Pontare & Magnus Lidehäll) Nominated [36]
2015 Swedish Grammy Awards Best Children's Album Himself (with Glada Hudik-Teatern & Pontus De Wolfe) Won [37]
Composer of the Year Himself (with Vincent Pontare & Magnus Lidehäll) Nominated
The Swedish MPA Awards International Success of the Year Himself (with Vincent Pontare) [38]
2016 Swedish Grammy Awards Composer of the Year Himself (with Vincent Pontare, Magnus Lidehäll & Seinabo Sey) [39]
2018 Swedish Grammy Awards Composer of the Year Vargas & Lagola [40]


  1. ^ "Grammisvinnarna genom åren" (in Swedish) – via
  2. ^ "Den stora omvandingen" (in Swedish). 15 January 2015 – via
  3. ^ "Production Duo Vargas & Lagola launch themselves with party-house banger "Rolling Stone"". 27 January 2017 – via
  4. ^ Berit Nygren (28 May 2009). "Stor festival för Adolf Fredrik 70". Sveriges Radio (Swedish Government radio broadcaster). Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ "Tidiga Grammisar till Salem Al Fakir" (in Swedish). 9 January 2008 – via
  6. ^ Andra Melodifestivalen jokern klar Retrieved 20 March 2016 Archived February 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Avicii & Salem Al Fakir Silhouettes". 13 May 2013 – via
  8. ^ "Avicii Chart History" – via
  9. ^ "Grammis 2014". 20 February 2014 – via
  10. ^ "Wyclef Jean and Avicii team up for "Divine Sorrow"". 19 November 2014 – via
  11. ^ "Seinabo Sey releases debut album 'Pretend'". 23 October 2015 – via
  12. ^ "Madonna releases new album 'Rebel Heart'". 9 March 2015 – via
  13. ^ "Spotlight Avicii - "Without You" feat Sandro Cavazza" (in Swedish). 14 August 2017 – via
  14. ^ a b "Salem Al Fakir discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  15. ^ a b "Salem discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  16. ^ "Avicii – Silhouettes" (in Swedish). Grammofon Leverantörernas Förening. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  17. ^ a b "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2013 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 4 February 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  18. ^ a b "Certified Awards" (enter "Avicii" into the "Keywords" box, then select "Search"). British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  19. ^ "Avicii – You Make Me" (in Swedish). Grammofon Leverantörernas Förening. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Gold & Platinum: Avicii". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  22. ^ (Click "search all records" and view 11 December 2014. Then click "visa" on "Something New")
  23. ^
  24. ^ (Click "search all records" and view 2 April 2015. Then click "visa" on "On My Way")
  25. ^ (Click "search all records" and view 26 June 2015. Then click "visa" on "Sun Is Shining")
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Resultat och bilder 2007" (in Swedish).
  28. ^ (in Swedish). 3 September 2007 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. ^ "Resultat och bilder 2007" (in Swedish). 3 September 2007.
  30. ^ "Spelmannen till Salem Al Fakir" (in Swedish). 6 January 2008.
  31. ^ "Nominated 2008" (in Swedish).
  32. ^ (in Swedish) Missing or empty |title= (help)
  33. ^ "Nominated 2010" (in Swedish).
  34. ^ "Nominated 2011" (in Swedish).
  35. ^ "Nominated 2014" (in Swedish).
  36. ^ "Nominerade till Musikförläggarnas Pris 2014" (in Swedish). 29 September 2014.
  37. ^ "Nominated 2015" (in Swedish).
  38. ^ "Nominerade till Musikförläggarnas Pris 2015" (in Swedish). 28 September 2015.
  39. ^ "Nominated 2016" (in Swedish).
  40. ^ "Nominated 2018" (in Swedish).

External links[edit]