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Outlandish Performing in 2009.
Background information
Origin Brøndby, Københavns Amt, Denmark
Genres Hip-hop, Electronica, Dance
Years active 1997-present
Labels Sony BMG
Associated acts Native Deen, Sami Yusuf, Seven8Six
Waqas Ali Qadri
Isam Bachiri
Lenny Martinez

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" Produced by Mintman , (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[1]. 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")[2].

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 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. " Callin You " as the second single produced by Mintman . The UK version of Closer Than Veins included a rendition of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song."

Recent Appearances and Activities

Isam Bachiri

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.[3]

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."[4]. 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."[5]

Sound of a Rebel

Sound of a Rebel, Outlandish's fourth major production, was released on May 11 2009. The 1st single released from Sound of a Rebel was Rock All Day[6]. Two of the three band members have also released their own solo albums (in Danish).

The album is a departure from earlier work in many respects. The religious and social content has been all but toned down, and the album features two collaborations with female vocalists, a first for the group.

Voices for Change Tour

Outlandish did their first U.S. tour in Summer 2008 with the "Voices for Change" tour hosted by the Muslim American Society - Youth. Venues included New York, Tampa, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, and Los Angeles. The message that the tour promoted 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. " [7]

Music With Meaning

The 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."




Solo Efforts

  • 1999: Ajooba (Waqas Qadri's Debut Solo Allbum)
  • 2007: Institution (Isam Bashiri's Debut Solo album)
  • 2008: Øko Logik (Waqas Qadri's Second Solo album)
  • 2009: 2200 Carmen (Isam Bashiri's Second Solo album)

Non-Album Singles

  • "Belly Dance (Feat. Caroline)" -- Later included in Bread & Barrels Of Water
  • "Man binder os på mund og hånd"
  • "Pacific To Pacific" -- in connection with an Amnesty International -- also included in Pizza King" OST
  • "Saturday Night" from "Pizza King" OST
  • "Kun Min" (Be Mine)
  • "Keep it Halal" (Feat. Scorzayzee)
  • "Strange Are The Times" -- Exclusive SonyEricsson W902 and W595 mobile phone packs, called Outlandish Pack
  • "The Game" (Feat. Acorn)

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
  • "Tu Me Illenas" (ft. Waqas Ali) - Yadam
  • "Hlash" (Feat. Isam Bachiri) - Salah Edin
  • "Where Ur Heart's At" (Feat. Waqas Ali) - The Gypsies (One Hand Up) 2007 - Track: 13/13


  • "Aicha"Video
  • "Walou"Video
  • "Guantanamo"Video
  • "Look Into My Eyes" Video
  • "Kom Igen" Video (Featuring U$O, and originally Swedish rapper ADL and Salah Edin although they are not featured in the video)
  • "I Only Ask of God"Video
  • "Callin' U"Video
  • "Kun Min" (Be Mine) Video
  • "Rock All Day"Video (Sound Of A Rebel - 2009)
  • "Feels Like Saving The World"Video (Sound Of A Rebel - 2009)
  • "Keep The Record On Play"Video (Sound Of A Rebel - 2010)


  1. ^ [1](Korean) After its huge reputation, Tony An Reproduced this song in 2006.
  2. ^ "Sony BMG Argentina announcement". Sony BMG Argentina. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  3. ^ [2] Concert for peace in Darfur.
  4. ^ [3]Details of "Evening Of Inspiration 2008" at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
  5. ^ [4]Sample of Isam B on Native Deen's new album (track 4).
  6. ^ [5]Outlandish released a new single.
  7. ^

External links


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