Karl Wolf says much of his success is due to his breakout hit “Africa,” which is why he decided to revisit the song with a new remix to mark the 15th anniversary of his debut. it.
The classic soft rock track, originally released by American rock band Toto in 1982, has found a new life in the hands of the 43-year-old Lebanese-Canadian, who blends its nostalgia with dance beats school to make it his own pop radio hit. .
He hopes his latest remix will take it a step further by appealing to younger listeners who have stumbled across his social media profiles, where he delves into the details. details in their creative process.
“I want the new generation to feel what I felt when I heard the original,” he said in a phone interview from Montreal. “It’s like a different aspect to my cover.”
“Africa: 4AM Remix”, which will be released on Friday on digital platforms, showcases a mix of tropical and electronic music to appeal to Generation Z. Compared to the original cover of him, the new version has a faster tempo and more distinct layers. synths.
The song comes as Karl Wolf, born Carl Abou-Samah, embarks on a country tour starting November 24. The DIY tour will pack 19 shows over 25 days as he carries it. a studio version of himself took the stage, presented to the fans. glimpse of how he makes music.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Abou-Samah has been sharing how he produces his songs on social media. As his video composing another version of “Africa” exploded, which currently has more than a million views on TikTok, he wanted to officially release the full version of his remix.
“Most of my productions that I stream on TikTok are going viral, and that’s where the 4am and 3am emotions come in,” he said.
He said the DIY tour was inspired by his journey from an immigrant in Canada to becoming a successful musician.
On stage, he will introduce “a more glorified, decorated studio space” to fans, showing how he created “Africa”, “Yalla Habibi” and some of his other hits. him, with his social media videos helping to tell the story.
The inspiration for the 2007 remix of “Africa” hit him while he was listening to disco in a taxi in Montreal.
“I said, ‘God, that’s great,’ ‘he said. “And then I just thought to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to remake an ’80s record?’ ‘
He went through 43 different versions to experiment with different sounds. Many versions at first sounded like covers of the original Toto recording, but then he made his own twist on it.
“I flipped it completely,” he said.
The song turned into an R&B mix, which was tweaked to add a disco rhythm.
The record labels didn’t want to sign the song, he said, so he initially released it on his own. When it reached Billboard’s Canadian Hot 100, EMI Music Canada was behind the song, helping propel it to #2 on the Canadian singles chart in 2009.
Prior to the success of “Africa”, Abou-Samah honed his skills as a producer and songwriter for other artists such as the Quebec band Dubmatique and the pop duo Sky, later becoming a vocalist. lead author for the third part of the following section.
When he ventured away from Sky to become a solo act, he didn’t have much success on the charts until the original mix “Africa” took off.
“I tried so hard and didn’t really win, well, at least not in the Top 20 or Top 30,” he said. “It was a big surprise.”
Fifteen years later, after a tour of Canada supporting an updated version of “Africa,” he plans to embark on an international tour in Europe and America.
Abou-Samah said he also signed a music publishing deal with Kobalt Music and a licensing and advertising deal with digital distribution service ONErpm.
“Next year, 2023, will also be a game changer for me,” he said.
Throughout his career, Abou-Samah has carried affection from Deane Cameron, the former president of EMI Music Canada, who passed away in 2019, who told him upon the release of his single “Yalla Habibi” , live truely with yourself.
“”You have to come true,” he recalls.
This Canadian Press report was first published on October 25, 2022.