Spek

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Hussain Yoosuf, better known by his stage name Spek, is a Canadian hip hop musician. He is best known for his singles "Smell the Coffee" and "I'm a Hippie" and as a member of Canadian hip hop group, Dream Warriors.


Early career[edit]

Spek started rapping at the age of 14 in his hometown Montreal. He joined the hip hop group Dream Warriors shortly after the release of their hit songs "My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style" and "Wash Your Face in My Sink".

At the age of 17, he signed a worldwide record contract with EMI and toured the globe before settling in London. Spek soon found himself touring across Europe with British jazz-rap crew Us3. Working with musical partner Brian Rose he collaborated with members of Jamiroquai and with Nitin Sawhney. Sawheny's album Beyond Skin featuring Spek was highly touted by Sting and Madonna, won the South Bank Album Award and went on to be nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. He appeared on the BBC’s Later... with Jools Holland.

Increasing prominence[edit]

Spek's songs were uses in a number of advertising campaigns from Nokia, Fox Entertainment Group and were used in DreamWorks Pictures 2004 comedy Envy. Spek's single "Smell the Coffee" was featured several times in the Old Vic in EastEnders.

The Times described his music as "a gentle and genial collection of dreamy love songs and street smart hip hop grooves." Loaded magazine described his album Don't Sweat the Small Stuff as "like Prince and De La Soul in a mucky mudwrestle. Exceptional." and gave it 10 out of 10.

In 2003, Spek was asked to co-host the Juno Awards.

His "Look Me Up" video was voted number one on MTV UK's Daily Chart Live. His "I'm a Hippie" single was a Top 20 hit in Canada.

Films[edit]

In 2005, Spek was cast in a lead role in the UK/European feature film Wicked, starring alongside Danish star Kim Bodnia and others. Playing a dual role he also wrote the film's soundtrack and score with longtime collaborator Brian Rose. That film screened at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.

In 2006, Spek began development of his next film project Fricky Khan about a Sri Lankan motorcycle racer and multiple Grand Prix winner who lived fast and died young. The story is based on the life of Spek's uncle.

Music executive[edit]

After years of working as a recording artist, writer, composer, producer and music publishing executive, Spek relocated to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates in 2007 to establish the first music publisher in the United Arab Emirates. As Managing Director, partner and co-founder of Fairwood Music (Arabia), Spek helped lead the company to be responsible for pioneering respect for musical copyrights in the Middle East and handle some of the world's leading music catalogues for the Middle East and North Africa including that of Universal Music Publishing Group and EMI Music Publishing among others.[1]

In 2012, Spek launched a new firm, PopArabia, supported by Abu Dhabi government initiative twofour54. PopArabia represents the music publishing catalogs of Universal Music Publishing, Sony ATV, EMI Music Publishing, Imagem Music Group, Peer Music, Cooking Vinyl and others.[2] PopArabia connects the dots between international stakeholders seeking opportunities in the Middle East and those in the Middle East seeking access to world class music.

In January 2015 it was announced that Spek would be relocating to New York, taking on a new role as the Senior Vice President, Creative and A&R at NYC music publisher Reservoir Media Management.

Discography[edit]

Albums and EPs[edit]

  • Look Me Up (2001)
  • Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (2002)

Singles[edit]

  • "I'm a Hippie" (2001)
  • "Smell the Coffee" (2002)

Releases with Dream Warriors[edit]

Guest appearances[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Williams, Paul (10 August 2009). "EMI Publishing focusing on UAE". Music Week. United Business Media. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "twofour54 supports PopArabia music publishing and music rights consultancy". twofour54. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2013.