Yusuf Islam has been misunderstood by lots of people since he gave up the music business in the late 1970s. He was Cat Stevens, one of the most successful musicians and songwriters in the world and he gave it all up, many of his fans just couldn’t understand why.
To hear him tell it, the decision makes a lot more sense. Away from writing, recording and performing, he finally took the time to have a life. It wasn’t until his son brought a guitar home that Islam picked it up and began playing for the first time in years. A rush of creativity came on, and he’s been writing and performing since.
Another factor in his decision to return to music was the events of September 2001 and the subsequent collapse in Muslim-American relations. Planned or not, Yusuf now finds himself a powerful Muslim spokesman and living connection between the two cultures.
To him, it’s not about record sales anymore (although his records do sell briskly under new and old monikers), his goal now is to bridge gaps between people through song. In other words, he aims to teach all sides that Peace Train and Salaam Alaikum are one in the same.
Yusuf’s new album Roadsinger is a stylistic return to his most popular period, so diehard fans should be pleased. One of the standout songs on the album is called Boots and Sand, but its only available on the iTunes album version or on the UK deluxe CD/DVD edition.
Paul McCartney and Dolly Parton serve as Yusuf’s backup singers on Boots and Sand…and talk about making a comeback to the music business, Yusuf made a music video for this one, you can see it below.
Yusuf’s official website is YusufIslam.co.uk