, London, United Kingdom
Adnan Sami is a British-born singer, musician, pianist, actor and composer, of Pakistan origin. He currently holds Canadian citizenship and lives in Mumbai, India. His style merges Asian and Western music styles and instrumentation and ranges from classical to jazz to modern pop-rock.
He had his first solo album 'Raag Tim in 1991-92. The song from his album "Kisi Din Teri Yaad" was the title track "Jab Chandani Barh Kar" of his first album. In 1994, he composed music for a film for the first time. The Pakistani film, in which Adnan was the lead with his wife Zeba and famous Indian playback singer Asha Bhosle did the playback, 'Sargam', was a blockbuster. However, the authorities banned Asha's voice from the soundtrack which disappointed Adnan. He then had to re-record these songs with Hadiqa Kiyani. After unsuccessfully trying to make it to the competitive Pakistani pop scene in 1997, in 2000, Asha Bhosle teamed up with him to release a collection of love songs named 'Kabhi to Nazar Milao'.The music was also composed by Adnan. According to Adnan, this was a "dream come true" for him. The album became an instant rage and topped the Indipop charts for most of 2001. According to BusinessWeek, the album sold 2 million copies in India.
Sami has won many international awards, including the Nigar Award, the Bolan Academy Award and the Graduate Award.He was given a special award by UNICEF for the song he wrote for famine-hit Ethiopia as a teenager and a United Nations Peace Medal for a song he wrote and performed for Africa.
A review of his piano solo performance on Channel 4, UK, in Keyboard Magazine acknowledged him as the "Keyboard Discovery of The 90s".In 2001, he was awarded the Breakthrough Artist of the Year by MTV.
He was invited to be a member of the jury of the prestigious music festival Voice of Asia competition, held annually at Almaty, Kazakhstan - the jury comprises top music composers of the world. Sami was featured in a documentary, commissioned by the Foreign and Common Wealth Office of Great Britain, about ten people from the Indian subcontinent, who have influenced the Asian culture in the UK over the last fifty years.Swedish and British radio and television have often referred to him as the fastest keyboard player in the world. He has performed for prestigious music festivals to sold-out stadia of his solo concert tours all over the world in over forty countries. In summer 2003, he became the only Asian artist to have sold out, Wembley Stadium, London, for two consecutive nights, which won him a place in the Limca Book of Records.
As a classical concert pianist, Sami has had the honour of giving "solo" Royal Command performances before the King of Sweden and King Hussein of Jordan.
In 2008, he was presented the Naushad Music Award by Andhra Pradesh Department of Culture, at Hyderabad. In 2008 he also won "Best International Act" at the UK Asian Music Awards.
He had played the piano since the age of five. Sami began taking lessons from Pandit Shivkumar Sharma when visiting India, during his school vacations. Indian singing legend Asha Bhosle spotted talent in a ten-year-old Sami at an R D Burman concert in London and encouraged him to take up music as a career. As a teenager, Sami, when performing on the sitar at a programme in Stockholm, was noticed by Keyboard Magazine as being the fastest man on keyboard in Asia. Sami went on to learn Indian classical music from Mahraj Khatak, a Pakistani classical singing teacher and dancer.He graduated from King's College and became the first person to play Indian classical music on the electric piano.