Outlandish Biography

Outlandish are a multi-award winning hip-hop group based in Denmark. Formed in 1997, they consist of Isam Bachiri (born in Denmark and of Moroccan background), Waqas Ali Qadri (born in Denmark and of Pakistani background), and Lenny Martinez (born in Honduras and is of Cuban and Honduran descent). All three members are devoutly religious, Isam and Waqas being Muslims, and Lenny being Catholic. The band members live in Brøndby Strand.

Outlandish's hip-hop/R&B/soul music sound takes influences from their various backgrounds (Moroccan/Arab/Amazigh, Pakistani/Punjabi and Latin American), and although their songs are primarily in English, they usually feature lyrics in Spanish, Urdu/Punjabi, Danish, and Arabic. All these influences make the music of Outlandish somewhat unique and this is easy to notice from the variety of genres covered in their albums. Outlandish often include themes about Islam and contemporary issues facing young Muslims in the west in their music, and sometimes their songs define a unique nasheed-like urban genre.

Their first single "Pacific To Pacific" was used in connection with an Amnesty International charity event. Next came the single "Saturday Night", a song that was later to be included on the soundtrack for the Danish movie Pizza King. These singles were the prelude to their first album, Outland's Official (2000), which was only released in Denmark. The hit song "Walou" was later included on their second album Bread & Barrels of Water.

Singles from their second album made the most impact on the international music charts. Hit singles included "Aicha" (first made famous by Khaled) which made it to number one in Germany, and received a lot of airplay across many Asian countries, especially in South Korea. The video to "Aicha" also won a best music video award. "Guantanamo" also made a strong impression on the European charts. An old Hindi chorus running through "Peelo" made it a smash hit amongst Indians living in the West.

The group have recorded a León Gieco's cover of the song "Solo le Pido a Dios" ("I Only Ask Of God").

The Danish music contemporaries Majid and Burhan G featured heavily on the first album and to a lesser extent on the second and third.

Closer Than Veins (2005) is Outlandish's third album. The first single was "Look Into My Eyes". The song's lyrics are based on a poem by Gihad Ali, a Palestinian who wrote the piece when she was a teenager; the poem expresses the plight of those suffering from America’s foreign policy with regards to Israel and Palestine. The video is based around the fairy-tale Little Red Riding Hood. It portrays an Israeli soldier as the Wolf and the Palestinian girl, wearing a Kaffiyeh, as Little Red Riding Hood.

This album showcased the group's more mature outlook compared to their previous works. Tracks such as "Just Me" and "Una Palabra" give a rare insight into the life in Europe today as seen through the eyes of ethnic minorities, whereas "Nothing Left To Do" perhaps the most daring and compelling track on the album boldly tackles the still taboo ridden issue of a young Muslim man catching HIV:

Outlandish performed a live percussion version of "Look Into My Eyes" at the "Islamophobia" conference held in Copenhagen, Denmark in May 2006 which was hosted by the Islam Channel and included many theological and political speakers and community leaders. Their club thumping single "Kom Igen" is featured on EA's FIFA 07.

Outlandish included two new (bonus) tracks "In Good Hands" and "Angels Lower Their Wings" on the deluxe version of Closer Than Veins. They were the only Danish act performing at the European MTV Awards 2006, where they also won the prize for Best Danish Act.

Closer Than Veins was released in UK by Sony BMG in March 2007, with "Look Into My Eyes" being released as the first single on 5 March. The UK version of Closer Than Veins included a rendition of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song."

The band supported Sami Yusuf along with other acclaimed nasheed artists at the "Concert for peace in Darfur" held at Wembley Arena in order to raise money for the families of genocide victims in the region.

The trio has participated in the Evening Of Inspiration concerts (in aid of Islamic Relief charity) since 2006 and most recently participated in the 2008 concert which also featured Seven8Six, Raihan and Kareem Salama amongst fellow performers.". On 13 July 2008 Outlandish also performed at a concert for IslamExpo in London’s Olympia, Europe’s largest Muslim cultural event.

Isam Bachiri features on the single "Still Strong" on Native Deen's recent album "Not Afraid To Stand Alone."

The trio will be playing next at the Hard rock cafe, Pune on 11th July 2009

They also performed at London Mela on 16th August 2009.
Source: wikipedia.org
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