The Awakening of Islamic Pop Music
Paperback, 224 pages
Awakening, an Islamic media company formed in London, has created the soundtrack to many Muslim lives during the last two decades. It has produced three superstars (Sami Yusuf, Maher Zain and Harris J.) among a host of other artists. As the company celebrates their first 20 years in the industry, Jonas Otterbeck examines their remarkable rise to success and their established reputation as one of the most important global enterprises producing pop music inspired by Islam.
Otterbeck thoroughly describes the history and development of new Islamic popular music genres, in particular pop-nashid and Islamic pop, for the first time. He argues that Awakening a company with the ambition to portray itself as Islamic is best understood in relation to the ethical turn in Islamic thinking. In analysing the turn to ethics, he explores how the Islamic pop industry is, in effect, altering the very formulations of Islamic thought.
• Analyses the contribution of popular music to the development of contemporary interpretations of Islam
• Uses Awakening as a case study to explore the relationship between Islamic popular music genres and wider Islamic discourse
• Supported by fieldwork (following tours), content analyses (of songs, videos, promotion material and social media) and interviews (with artists, business people and musicians)
• Includes new perspectives on celebrity culture among Muslims and its connection with ethical Muslim masculinity
Listen to the Spotify playlist 'The Awakening of Islamic Pop Music', featuring 103 of the songs mentioned in the book.