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Islamic singers rewrite western hits to find new audiences for 'faith-inspired' songs
There is something slightly different about the version of Chris Brown's With You sung by Raef, a new signing to Awakening Records. In his rendition, Raef replaces Brown's lyrics expressing love for a woman with his love for the Lord. "My Lord, no one else will do/ With every test you put me through, miracles you help me do/ If I have you, I don't need money, I don't need cars, Lord you're my all."
"There is a huge thirst from people who want to listen to music which is not of a detriment to their heart, soul or relationship with their Lord," says Raef, of the music he and his fellow artists are producing at Awakening. "People have been waiting and yearning for it."
Raef will be one of the artists performing at the Hammersmith Apollo on Saturday night at an event called Send a Little Hope, for the charity Save an Orphan. Awakening's artists will be collaborating for the first time, and will feature Maher Zain, 31, a Swede of Lebanese heritage, possibly the biggest name in the Islamic music industry; Hamza Namira, 31, an Egyptian musician who shot to prominence with his song El-Midan (The Square), a song in solidarity with the Egyptian revolution; Mesut Kurtis, a renowned Macedonian Islamic singer of Turkish origin, and others.
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