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Kazem El-Saher

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Kazem Jabbar Ibraheem Al Samarra'ee

Born on 12/9/1961... lived his childhood in Mousul, northern Iraq.. he was the 7th of another 7 brothers and two sisters, his family wasn't rich, and he had to work a lot with his brothers to make living.

Kazem started work when he was 10 years old.. he helped out his brothers.. sold ice-cream and food on the streets, Nevertheless, Kazem was happy.. as he said in one of his interviews "I feel I was happier back then than I am now.."

He sold his bicycle, probably his dearest asset, which he worked hard to save for.. and bought a guitar instead.. After three months of learning.. kazem composed his first song "ayna anti" when he was 12 years old!

In Baghdad, kazem studied at the Institute of fine arts (not sure if I translated it right !), I think that his course goes for six years, in the last couple of years Kazem was making his way to iraqi TV (which was mission impossible in these days!! strict criteria)

I can't say for sure what song started the Kazem legend, but what I can say is "Ladghat El Hayya" was definitely very exceptional at that time, it was getting out of control, when that song came out, I was like "so who's this guy??"

At that time I was 10 years old so I didn't have a good taste for music .. anything goes really, but for some reason.. I though this guy was better..

Unlike some singers that hit with one song and "live on it" , kazem socked the iraqi audience again with "Ubart El Shat", now that one was a MOJOR hit.. I remember one day they played it four times on TV and I went to a party on the same day and they played it twice (Pleeeeaase!!)

By then everyone knew Kazem El Saher, for young people, there was Kazem and Adel (adel ogla, another singer) , you had to be either a Kazem-fan or an Adel-fan, (all you iraqis out there should know what I'm talking about)..

However, that fame kazem got from "el shat" was a reason for a crisis, he almost got kicked out of the institution because the "big head" in the institution at that time (Muneer El Basheer) thought that Kazem was degrading iraqi music by singing sha3bi style (or as he said "we didn't teach him all those years so he can go and sing Obart El Shat)

The song that saved Kazem from getting kicked out was "Inni Khayyartoki".. I still remember watching it on TV, they played it only once, I never got it out of my mind though... Anyway, after listening to the poem Mr. El Basheer decided to give kazem another chance

A while later , Kazem hits again with "Ghazal" which was (and you guessed it) another "blockbuster" the Ghazal album (aka Shakhi9 Thani) was making good sales, but on the shelves it was known as "Kazem 88"

There was a lot of talk by then going on about kazem, so many musicians hated him, all the old people said he was crap.

Surprise surprise, in early 1990, Al-Aziz came out, recorded overseas with high quality, six songs were in that tape, three of them got very famous, Al-Aziz (which started a whole series of farewell-"la6mniyyat!!"-songs) , Sallamtak beed Allah, and Mat7arrek E7sasi...

After that, kazem was working for a whole year on "La Ya Sadiki" which was his new challenge, a song that goes on for a whole hour!! the song came out also in 1990, it was recorded in cairo, however id didn't make a huge success for a number of reasons..

1- it's a WHOLE hour, when they played it in on the radio it was mentioned on the broadcast schedule list coz it was a major even of the day

2- it didn't have a video, well even if it did, it would be more like a movie!!

3- it wasn't advertised enough, and the timing wasn't too great, i think.. right before the war

I have to say that till "La Ya Sadiki" almost ALL of kazem's songs were written by Aziz El Rassam, who almost wrote songs solely for Kazem, Aziz was different from all the others, he used "strange" sha3bi lyrics and had a very intersting style.. he was a very important factor in making kazem rocket into the sky in such a short time...

After the gulf war ended, iraqis were forbidden to travel overseas, so kazem had to record his next album in iraqi studios which I'm sorry to say were not up to the standards!!

What was more interesting though, is that the whole album had NO songs for Aziz El Rassam!! Evereyone was wondering about what was going on...

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