Swedish singer, songwriter, and music producer of Lebanese origin, Maher Zain held a press briefing atop Table Mountain in Cape Town, to announce the performance of his latest debut album at the Artscape theatre.
In conjunction with his record label, Awakening Records, Swedish Embassy from Pretoria and the Cape Philharmonic orchestra, this will be the first time Zain will be performing with a live orchestra.
Maher Zain has released three albums with Awakening Records so far, Thank You Al¬lah (2009), Forgive Me (2012) and One (2016). Zain is arguably the biggest name in the Islamic Music genre, with more than 26 million fans worldwide. Zain’s official music videos and fan-made videos of his songs, having exceeded 1.8 billion views. Zain is also the most popular Muslim artist on Facebook and the most viewed Muslim artist on YouTube.
Zain will be accompanied by the local Cape Philharmonic orchestra comprised of 46 members, as well as his international band of musicians from Egypt, Spain, Lebanon, Belgium, Netherlands and the UK.
Organisers Inner Circle entertainment director, Nisaar Pangaker, said the music has brought people together from across the globe in love, peace and unity.
“This is something I feel the world needs today. It’s bringing together different music styles and people who have learnt music differently,’’ said Pangaker.
Pangaker noted that Zain commands a huge audience outside of Africa, which includes non-Muslim people. He has hopes that the event will bring more revenue into the city by driving traffic which helps generate further employment.
CEO of the Artscape theatre, Marlene Le Roux, noted that the impact of the Zain’s music transcends the boundaries of religion and unites people. Le roux added that it also helps the theatre dispel the myth that theatre is only for the ‘’high class’’.
‘’It’s not just about the Muslim faith, its about people that matter. What a wonderful way to (stop stereotyping people) -having it with this (particular) artist. Who can say ‘’You Matter’’ and everybody’s faith matters, your religion matters,’’ said Le roux.
Councillor for Cultural Affairs from the Embassy of Sweden in Pretoria, Hedda Krausz Sjogren, said that the aim is to support innovative, new, ground-breaking co-operations in the cultural sector.
“Working with different music from different cultures, it shows diversity of Swedish society and diversity of South African society and how these are meeting through music,’’ said Le Roux.
The concert is on the 26 of October 2018 and will be 180 minutes long, at the Opera House at the Artscape theatre.[Tauhierah Salie]