WEF, Album, World Tour and more :)
Greetings of love and peace to you all,
How are you all keeping? Hope you are all enjoying the summer and getting ready for the ‘Spiritique fever’ with the release of Salaam very soon!
Quite a lot has been happening so let me give you quick run-down of the recent developments:
– Invitation to the World Economic Forum 2012
I was invited to the WEF to share a panel with co-panelists Elif Shafak (one of Turkey’s leading novelists); Dr. William A. Brindley (serves as NetHope’s Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director); Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa (creator of THE 99, the world acclaimed comic superheroes born of an Islamic archetype); Mr. Abulfaz Garayev (Azerbaijan Minister of Culture and Tourism) to discuss and share ideas on “Culture as an agent for change”. It was, by and large, a very healthy gathering with lots of different ideas and thoughts being shared including some personal stories that were quite moving. The audience was of a truly mixed background with members of different faith groups present as well as leading thinkers and journalists (even, believe it or not, one of Whitney Houston’s cousins who works for a Swiss based company). Among the highlights were the Q/A session about Social Media and its possible dangers and pitfalls. I think we all agreed that Social Media in relation to acquiring meaningful and substantive information cannot always be ‘trusted’ because it is vulnerable to manipulation with so-called ‘bots’ or algorithms designed to automatically acquire ‘hits’ or ‘likes’ without anyone physically viewing or ‘liking’ the pages that way ‘cheating’ the system. There was a time when the Major Labels would automatically sign an artist if he/she had acquired 5k ‘friends’ on Myspace etc. Of course, this practice was soon put aside as Record Companies quickly understood that such ‘stats’ can no longer be taken seriously.
There were also philosophical additions/allusions. For example notion of ‘progress’ – a continuous advancement of the human condition, an idea invented in the 18th century – the century that boasts of great advances in science and technology. However, the big question remains: although science can tell us how things work, but can it tell us how to live? Is technological and scientific advancement the same as ‘progress’ in the human condition?
What ‘problems’ can technology solve? Who will be the winners (companies)? Who will be the losers (teachers, traditional authorities)?
We refer the internet for everything, but can internet or the TV replace or substitute education? Moral or otherwise?
Anyway, moving on…
– Salaam Album, Salaam Tour, Andante Records and more…
I have made no secret of the fact that I’m — more or less — locked up in the studio these days working tirelessly on the Salaam album. I can only pray that it will be ‘accepted’ and blessed iA. We hope to have it out “VERY SOON” I know many of you must be weary of these two words but I sincerely ask for a little bit more of your patience. What I can say is that if “Wherever You Are” was a ‘new beginning’ then “Salaam” can be seen as the ‘first dawn’ It’s a more hopeful and joyful album whilst remaining 100% true to Spiritique and my current feelings/mood Hopefully, it will be worth the wait. I will talk more about the Salaam album in our coming blog(s) iA.
We also have a World Tour that is currently in the making. If all goes according to plan iA we may be seeing you all in USA & North America, Europe (including Russia) and of course the Middle East. Dates will be announced soon iA.
As you may or may not know, we are in the process of setting up and launching my own label soon. I’m very excited about this initiative and hope that, God-willing, it will fulfill its purpose; namely, to nurture and promote genuine talent in the world. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as this something very dear to me and I pray it’s a success iA.
We also have brand new music videos coming up… I didn’t want to ‘spoil’ the surprise but I’ve spent 2 weeks abroad and only just got back from shooting these clips. I am very happy to have reunited with the talented Siros Kerdouni for these projects. I’m sure he will not less us down
Btw, the thumbnail picture is of me and my taxi driver (Istanbul airport) who upon knowing who I was made me very emotional with all his prayers and kindness. God bless him
Until next time…
God bless you all.