outlandish adj : conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual; "restaurants of bizarre design--one like a hat, another like a rabbit"; "famed for his eccentric spelling"; "a freakish combination of styles"; "his off-the-wall antics"; "the outlandish clothes of teenagers"; "outre and affected stage antics" [syn: bizarre, eccentric, freakish, freaky, flaky, off-the-wall, outre]
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 (from Honduras). All three members are devoutly religious, Isam and Waqas being Muslims, and Lenny being Catholic. The band members live in Brøndby Strand.
HistoryOutlandish'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 and Pakistanis living in the West.
The Danish music contemporaries Majid and Burhan G feautured heavily on the first album and to a lesser extent on the second and third.
Closer Than Veins
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 a second generation immigrant, 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: "''Warm smile — long blond hair/Pretty green eyes and skin damned fair/For sure lucky to get with a girl like that/Couldn’t pass this chance no matter what...Pretty woman though, not all she seemed/Soon grim reality and not a dream/Wasn’t the first certainly not her last/Moment of weakness, became victim of her past."
Where Outlandish wrote all tracks on their first two albums, Closer Than Veins'' marked a departure in this respect particularly on the socially and politically heavy side the group has called in lyrical reinforcements. "Look Into My Eyes" was principally written by Gihad Ali, whereas "Just Me", "Una Palabra" and "Nothing Left to Do" were principally written by Omar Shah, who has also written Isam Bachiri's lyrics on Sami Yusuf's "Try Not to Cry", and more recently on Native Deen's "Still Strong".
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 2007.
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. Recently the group has also performed at the annual Reviving the Islamic Spirit conference in Toronto, lending further credit to the theory that they are becoming more of an "Islamic Band".
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."
Recent appearances and activitiesThe 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.".
Isam Bachiri features on the single "Still Strong" on Native Deen's recent album "Not Afraid To Stand Alone."
Having embarked upon the genre-defining Closer Than Veins, Outlandish have announced on their official website that they are working on its follow-up album which is set to continue on their journey of "life music" and will include exciting collaborations with other morally-minded music artists. Some of the artists rumoured to feature include Majid, Lupe Fiasco, The Sound Of Reason, Kareem Salama, Raihan and Yusuf Islam. The new album, Outlandish's fourth major production, is set for release at some point in Q2 2008. Two of the three band members have also released their own solo albums (in Danish language) over the last few months but they have denied speculation that band dissolution is imminent.
Voices for Change TourOutlandish is doing their first U.S. tour in Summer 2008 with the "Voices for Change" tour hosted by the Muslim American Society - Youth. The tour will visit New York, Tampa, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, and Los Angeles. The message that the tour promotes is the following:
"''We need to stake OUR claim on entertainment, as people striving for MORALITY: We are demanding entertainment with a message like Outlandish who bring it — a moral message! Outlandish will be headlining MAS Youth's Voices For Change in their first United States tour. ''"
ControversiesDenmark's Radio (DR, The Danish Broadcasting Services) provoked an outcry when, allegedly on behalf of demands from Outlandish, they "censored" the broadcaster’s annual Christmas show because the popular group didn’t want to perform alongside a female singer with bare shoulders. The outcome was that the singer was moved further away on the stage. The censorship by DR was even brought up in the Danish parliament. This was refuted by Outlandish as being false, and their record label Sony BMG released a statement to the Danish press dismissing the rumours as untrue. Denmark's Radio also released a statement that the rumours were false. In fact, Isam Bachiri recently performed live duets with the said artist.
Music With MeaningThe band have recently helped form the umbrella organization, Music With Meaning, that aims to bring together like-minded artists in order to promote and produce inspirational and meaningful music. Its motto is "If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything."
- "Belly Dance"
- "Man binder os på mund og hånd"
- "Pacific To Pacific" - in connection with an Amnesty International
- "Saturday Night" from "Pizza King" OST
- "Kun Min" (Only Mine)
- "Keep It Halal"
Collaborations and appearances on other artists' albums
- "El Campo" - Majid (Life, Knowledge and Poetry) 2001
- "Try Not To Cry" - Sami Yusuf (My Ummah) 2005
- "Meditate" (ft. Waqas Ali) - Seven8Six (Straight Path) 2005
- "Still Strong" (ft. Isam B) - Native Deen (Not Afraid To Stand Alone) 2007
outlandish in Danish: Outlandish
outlandish in German: Outlandish
outlandish in Esperanto: Outlandish
outlandish in Spanish: Outlandish
outlandish in French: Outlandish
outlandish in Dutch: Outlandish
outlandish in Polish: Outlandish
outlandish in Portuguese: Outlandish
outlandish in Russian: Outlandish
outlandish in Finnish: Outlandish
outlandish in Swedish: Outlandish
outlandish in Turkish: Outlandish
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