Maher Zain (Arabic: ماهر زين) (born March 16, 1981 in Tripoli, Lebanon) is a Swedish R&B singer, songwriter and music producer of Lebanese origin. He also resided for a while in the United States. His debut album Thank You Allah, with 13 songs and two bonus tracks was released on 1 November 2009, with an exclusive Percussion Version and a French Version released shortly afterwards. He sings mainly in English, but also, amongst others, in French, Arabic, Urdu, Turkish, Indonesian and Malay.
Maher’s first musical inspiration came from his father, who was a singer himself, performing locally in the beautiful Mediterranean city of Tripoli - Lebanon. Fascinated by the music and instruments, Maher got his first keyboard when he was only ten and ever since music officially became part of Maher’s world.
The family moved to Sweden when Maher was only 8, where he continued his schooling, and later entered university and got a Bachelors degree in Aeronautical Engineering. With things changing around him, one thing remained the same - his strong passion for music. He would spend late nights at school with his friends where they would sing, rap, compose and experiment with music in every way. It didn’t take him long to realize that music became an integral part of who he is.
After being involved for a while in the music scene in Sweden as a music producer, Maher was introduced to RedOne, a gifted music producer who was fast rising in the music scene in Sweden. Maher started working with RedOne with Swedish artists, and later moved with him to New York. For a few years he was in the middle of the hot rush of the NY music industry, working with chart topping artists such as Kat DeLuna on her debut album which included smash hits ‘Whine Up’ and ‘Run The Show’.
In January 2009, Maher Zain signed up and began working on an album with Awakening Records. Maher’s debut album Thank You Allah reached the number 1 spot on Amazon.com World Music charts and number 9 on the R&B charts.
Maher had what many would describe as a dream job for someone so young in such a glamorous business, but for Maher it felt like this was far from what he would call ‘the dream’, “I loved the music but I hated everything that surrounded it, it always felt like something wasn’t right”. RedOne was on the verge of breaking into the big time, going on to work with artists like Akon, Lady Gaga, Enrique Iglesias, Brandy, New Kids On The Block, and Michael Jackson to mention just a few, and becoming one of the most sought-after music producers in the world. Maher however was restless and eventually decided that the music industry and all that surrounded wasn’t the right place for him and he returned to Sweden. It wasn’t until he met a group of brothers who were active in the Islamic community in Stockholm and he started regularly attending his local mosque that he felt like he’d reached ‘home’.
Maher feels blessed to able to finally find the right way, and feels like it’s his turn now to help others through his music to do the same: “If I had one thing I’d like to tell people out there it would be that it’s so easy to see the right way if we just open our eyes and look properly; that’s what happened to me.”
Maher Zain announced that he had released a Malay version for "Insha Allah", having released French and Arabic version along with videos already, while adding that it would be a track on his second album.
Maher has now commenced working on his new studio album which will be released in April 2011. No title has yet been announced. Maher sang a portion of a song from the album without backing music in a morning talk show slot at Malaysia's television channel, TV9. Maher explained that the song, a dedication to his mother, would be a "happy" song, as opposed to the usual songs dedicated to mothers that "are sad, and you want to cry listening to those."
Fadly from the Indonesian band Padi is also contributing to "For the Rest of My Life" in Bahasa Indonesia. It will be released through Sony Music Indonesia.
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