The Sound of Reason
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The Sound of Reason

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"UK: Muslim Live 8 brings home Darfur crisis"

Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent
Monday October 22, 2007
The Guardian

Chaotic scenes at Wembley Arena are nothing new for concertgoers. There is the frantic rush to get to the front of stage area, and queues build up for food and drinks. Last night was different. The queues were for the makeshift mosque in the arena's 200-seat restaurant and the rush was for prayer spaces before the show began as more than 10,000 Muslims attended a charity concert for Darfur.
Billed as the Muslim Live8, the sell-out event was the first of its kind at the venue and drew artists and fans from around the world. To respect Islamic dietary requirements, Wembley became dry and halal for the night.

Once the concert began, the audience quickly abandoned the decorum and restraint normally associated with Muslim events.
Acts such as Outlandish and Sound Of Reason drew claps and cheers from the crowd. Glowsticks were waved. The biggest applause was reserved for the star attraction, Sami Yusuf, who has sold more than 3m albums, but is virtually unknown outside Muslim communities. As he took to the stage, the crowd erupted in screams and wolf-whistles and chanting.

Sami, who was born in Iran, but grew up in Britain and is one of the Muslim pop scene's biggest stars, has spoken about how uncomfortable he feels with hero worship and adulation, describing it as un-Islamic. But this was no deterrent to his fans; only a few in the audience refused to clap or cheer.

The crowd were less enthusiastic about a video message from Gordon Brown who praised the audience's compassion and commitment to the people of Darfur. He said: "The fact that so many of you are here shows how deeply people from communities from all over Britain care. An injustice anywhere is an attack on injustice everywhere and we will continue working together with all of you to bring this suffering to an end." He was booed and jeered throughout. There was more warmth for David Cameron who recorded a video while visiting the region. At least £40,000 was raised in five minutes, with three £10,000 donations.

Kareem Salama, America's only Muslim country singer, said: "When I was a kid I came to London and I asked my mother if I could go see a show at Wembley, she said 'maybe you'll get to play there one day'.

"Sami Yusuf is a real inspiration. He's like George Clooney, saying that if the cameras are going to follow him he's going to go somewhere it makes a difference. That's why Sami went to Darfur, so people could know the terrible things that are happening there. It's a great initiative."

- London Guardian

"Britain: Muslim 'Live 8' for Darfur"

London, 22 Oct. (AKI/Asian Age) - A Muslim aid concert to highlight the humanitarian crisis in Sudan's long-running Darfur conflict will be held at London's Wembley Arena on Sunday.

The organisers are expecting more than 10,000 people to attend the concert.

The main attraction at the concert is 27-year-old singer-songwriter Sami Yusuf, a Briton of Azerbaijani origin, whose songs are mostly about Islam and being a Muslim, along with hip-hop band Outlandish, Texan country and Western singer Kareem Salama, hip-hop band The Sound of Reason and musician Hamza Robertson.

The concert organised by Islamic Relief, a charity organisation, has been inspired by the Live Aid and Live 8 concerts which drew global attention to famine and poverty in Africa, according to Islamic Relief director Jehangir Malik.

He said the Darfur concert was open to all, but the majority of attendees would probably be British Muslims.

"We felt this was an important event to put on for the British Muslim community to be able to raise their voices and stand in solidarity and stand together with Britain to say, ‘Look, we need to do something about Darfur’," he said.

The concert will raise awareness about Darfur and raise funds, roughly about 1 million pounds (over 2 million dollars), for humanitarian work in the region by Islamic Relief.

Sami Yusuf has urged the British public to lend their support in bringing peace to the region where hundreds of thousands have lost their lives and more than two million are refugees.

"Music is a universal language, one that transcends religious and cultural boundaries. I hope to use this to promote and convey a message of peace world-wide, and in particular for the people of Darfur."

Recently, Yusuf was part of a foreign office-backed Muslim delegation which travelled to Darfur to talk to victims of the violence, refugees, tribal leaders and government officials.

British prime minister Gordon Brown has lent his support to the concert, and in a video message to be screened at the event, he said, "I want to thank all of you who have been active on this issue, from the artists and musicians who are performing here today, to religious leaders from all communities who have been leading prayers and campaigns for the people of Darfur."

"The fact that so many of you are here tonight shows how deeply people from communities all over Britain care about the people of Darfur and their plight," he added.
- adnkronos

"'Muslim Live 8' raises cash for Darfur"

LONDON (AFP) — Thousands of British Muslims gathered Sunday evening for a charity peace concert dubbed "Muslim Live 8" to raise money for victims of Sudan's long-running Darfur conflict.

The concert, starring top Islamic singer Sami Yusuf, was backed by the British government which is spearheading efforts to press the Sudanese government to stop violence in the western province.

The event at London's Wembley Arena, called A Concert for Peace in Darfur, also aimed to promote efforts to unite the community amid widespread suspicion of Islam in Britain.

"An injustice anywhere is an attack on justice everywhere and so we will continue working together with all of you to bring this suffering to an end," said Prime Minister Gordon Brown in a pre-recorded video message.

"I want to thank all of you ... from the artists and musicians who are performing here today, to religious leaders from all communities who have been leading prayers and campaigns for the people of Darfur."

Brown added: "The fact that so many of you are here tonight shows how deeply people from communities all over Britain care about the people of Darfur and their plight."

Topping the bill at the concert -- which some have compared to the 2005 global anti-poverty Live 8 event is Yusuf, a 27-year-old British star popular among young Muslims worldwide, even if he is less well known in his homeland.

"This is really something monumental, it has never been done before," he said on the eve of the concert.

More needs to be done on Darfur because "this is an issue between Muslims, Muslims killing Muslims, some people think it's shameful that people haven't really stood up," he told AFP.

"This is a great opportunity for British Muslims to really do something."

Later, addressing the crowd, he said: "Today you can be Muslim and you can be British."

Jehangir Malik, from British charity Islamic Relief, said when launching the event in August that he wanted to see "our own equivalent of Live 8" -- the series of worldwide concerts organised ahead of the G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, in 2005 calling for increased aid to poor countries.

All profits from the event will go to Islamic Relief to help fund its work in Darfur.

Like Yusuf, the other artists taking part combine music with faith.

Outlandish, a Danish hip-hop outfit featuring Muslims and Christians, appeared, as did Kareem Salama, a Muslim American country singer, who poses in a Stetson hat on the cover of his latest album.

Canadian stars The Sound Of Reason and Hamza Robertson, a young English convert to Islam, were also on the bill.

The event had official support -- the Foreign Office helped to organise a trip for Sami Yusuf and other celebrities to visit refugee camps in Darfur earlier this year.

The United Nations says that some 200,000 people have been killed and more than two million displaced as a result of the conflict in Darfur, which has been going on for over four years.

There are around 1.5 million Muslims in Britain but according to an opinion poll in 2006, 53 percent of Britons believe that Islam threatens Western democracy.

"What you see isn't necessarily what you get"

'The sound of reason'- no not another Nasheed group and no not another Outlandish, but a new sound, a mixture of Hip hop, R'n'B, Rock and acoustics, here to take over the U.K. Having come over a day early from Canada for a concert in London , Francis and Ku speak to Annika Waheed about what they're about and why they are the next best thing.
Having perused their website a day before the interview, first impressions were 'Skater boy meets Muslim backstreet boys'. Not exactly original, I thought to myself. Much to my surprise, I couldn't have been more wrong. Not having much to go by, what with the group being only a year old, and as a cynic when it comes to anything nasheed related, I was somewhat dubious as to this group’s ability to truly contribute something innovative to the scene. Lets just say I'm not up to date with the latest sounds of the nasheed scene – despite this, I tried to keep an open mind as I went along to meet them.
Francis and Ku, two out of the five members of the band are truly two peas in a pod. Friends since high school, their personalities, character and sense of humour seem to reflect and complement each other perfectly and as the day went on, this symbiosis of the souls become increasingly apparent. 'Lets go down there! It's not too far down and the tide is out' Francis shouts at Ku and Steven, the photographer. When Francis meant down there, he meant to the bottom of the river Thames at Shadwell Park , and the only visible way down at that point, was a rusty old ladder screwed onto the wall. 'Does action man not love his life?' I asked Ku 'You know what white guys are like, full of adventure' he replied. His response was marked with a heartfelt laugh and I could sense the warmth he had for Francis, as if he knew him like the back of his hand.
Both aged 25 and from Montreal , Canada , Ku is half Canadian, half Persian, and Francis is French Canadian of Irish ancestry. Ku and Francis were not born Muslim, but rather were Christian until very recently. Ku however embraced Islam in mid/early high school, after a friend had introduced him to Islam, and after listening to Khalid Yasin‘s speech on ‘the purpose of life‘ the profound effect converted him to Islam, and Francis converting eighteen months ago. The way their music and lyrics beam with confidence, anyone would think they have practised Islam their whole lives. 'Alhumdulilah we're very blessed' both tell me throughout the day in such a modest manner that I am truly humbled by their attitude. ’Anything we do, anyone can else can do better’.
Their band consists of five people, two non-Muslim and three Muslim, so they do not limit themselves with who they work with, Muslim or non-Muslim. The other members of their band are Eric, who is non- Muslim and also Francis’s brother, Scott, who is also non-Muslim and recently joined the band and Haider who has been a long term friend. Between them playing the guitar and drums, Francis describes them as incredibly talented.
With original and upbeat sounds, ranging from Hip Hop to Rock, there is a lot more to their lyrics then one might imagine, whilst some of their tunes can only be described as contagious. Addressing issues ranging from faith to politics, their talent is best understood as their ability to lyricise thoughts usually attributed to one’s conscience. Seeing it from both sides, Francis describes converting as 'you cant deny the truth, when you have lived in falsehood'. After listening to 'Empty world' on the album, I think many converts can empathise, by relating to the lyrics ‘You people know how I feel…We’re living in a dream that seems real…Living life with such an appeal……We never seek the truth’ describing converting as finding the truth.
Meeting each other for the first time at High school in music class, Ku and Francis have always had a strong passion for music. Despite their eclectic backgrounds, Ku was a DJ at school and Francis has a background in Business, they see themselves as pieces of a puzzle that just simply fit together perfectly. 'The music we make is like filling a void' says Ku, not looking very happy at the quantity of humus served as his starter. 'I gave up my first job after I left college' Francis tells me ' I quit my job, and myself and another friend built a studio in my basement'. Now that's got to take a faith captivating such a huge step, but then again dedicating your lives to spread the word of Islam isn't easy for someone who is born Muslim, let alone only converting eighteen months ago.
As cliché as it sounds, the name of the band was decided upon cracking open a fortune cookie which read: 'You will be the sound of reason.' Both men liked the ring the name had to it, but most importantly, they also felt that that is exactly what their music stands for. The Sound of Reason aims to be exactly that, the conscious, upright voice within a tide of mainstream music dominated by image and riches.
Curious as to what the Canadian Muslim scene is like, I ask how they are finding the competition with fellow nasheed artists, to which is received a curt response: 'we're not nasheed artists, we are a Hip hop and R'n'B group Francis grins. Just when I thought you couldn't get anymore modest, Francis tells me 'We are here to convey a message, we want other Muslims to create their own sounds, step their game up in mainstream music so we can compete to spread a positive message'.
Ku describes the Canadian Muslim scene as small, but strong. Dealing with being Canadian and Muslim and with all the distractions in this day and age ‘It’s the quality of Muslims in Montreal, not the quantity that makes it unique’.
With what they describe as their ‘mainstream’ sound, they are hoping to change the direction of mainstream music, perhaps their least modest venture despite being a laudable one. And it seems, they may well be on their way to achieving this stupendous goal. Indeed, in July this year, they were voted International Artists of the month by the leading music establishment, MTV .
Despite speaking out against MTV's culture of clubs, women, money and bling, they have had an astounding amount of outreach with their album. Themselves amazed at their own fan base, Francis and Ku go onto explain that it is their fans who promote them. Indeed, without the promotional skills of a producer at hand (they are as yet unsigned), the group has relied entirely on the use of social network websites to put themselves out there. This latest fad of self promotion through the equalizing medium of the internet has launched other now famous artists, including Lily Allen and Kate Nash who both initially developed their fan base via the web and sites such as Msn, Face book and My space. The boys admit, the internet has done much of the work for them, at least on the promotional end of things. Their fan base now reaches as far out as the Middle East and all this in under a year, and purely through word of mouth. 'We're still independent we haven't signed with anybody, we're still hustling'.
Similar to Outlandish's campaign of 'Music with meaning', The sound of reason's vision is not only to promote a positive message but to be able to change what mainstream music is about ' Music should be able to appeal to everyone, it shouldn't always be about bling and grills'.
Fully aware of the current and coming generations likes and dislikes, they understand that it is via the media with music, celebrities and stars that the younger generation is more likely to take their message on board. Ku goes on to explain 'Youth emulate people they like, the way they walk, the way they talk, the way they dress', The sound of reason believe that music is the language of culture given the expansive range of people who tune in daily to popular radio and TV musical stations. 'Sheikhs say that we are in a better position then they are as the youth prefer to listen to music then speeches'.
Regularly facing difficulties such as being asked questions from the public that they are not qualified to answer like ‘I‘ve lost my faith, what do I do?’, Francis and Ku always try their best to always refer them onto local Sheikhs, scholars or specific passages of the Qur’an trying to and help them as much as possible. ‘We’re not here to replace sheikhs, but music is just something that is preferred to the youth and we’re here to spread a conscious message via our music’.
The group’s original intention had been to target a non-Muslim audience, but they subsequently decided to target Muslims through their sound. ’The messages in our music can serve as a great reminder to the Muslim listener about faith, their purpose in life etc, but in it are messages and ideas that the non-Muslim populous should really hear. Muslims appreciate our music because they understand it and can relate, but non-Muslims like our music because the ideas and concepts are new and not commonly discussed amongst non-Muslim crowds’.
Receiving emails from non-Muslims asking them about their songs such as Palestine and what it’s about, the undertone of their music always stems from Islam.
With The sound of reason being their day jobs 'every dollar we make, goes back into what we do'. They are also launching their own clothing line, so Francis’s Business acumen has proven an invaluable asset, currently being used to it's full potential. They have started a range of t-shirts and hoodies - '‘We wanted a clothing line to reflect myself and Francis as individuals’ they decided to name the clothing line ‘Modesty’ as this is what they are trying to push. ‘With our music we are trying to start a new trend in music... in a scene where there is no moral or conscious messages we are hoping to make "consciousness‘" the next big trend... likewise in clothing where fashion is dictated by how little clothing you wear, we are hoping to make "modesty" the next big trend’.
Although the clothing range is still a work in progress, they sold out their t-shirts at a conference in California last summer. Not bad given their very recent debut. Francis says excitedly 'We're going to design hoodies, a range for sisters and a lot more'.
With not conforming to society's so called norms from a young age, feeding their faith has been priority since their conversion in 2006 With Francis being a newcomer to Islam, they have their fair share of struggles, but ensure they create a balance to keep themselves in check. ’Alhumdulillah, we’re blessed to be able to travel around the world, and in that time we do come across a lot of spare time, on flights, at hotels. We always carry our laptops with us listening to speeches, and reciting Qur’an, also with the travelling we get to attend many conferences and meet many scholars too’ Their blogs on The sound of reason official website and My Space have maintained their visions with not just their career but religion. ’There is nothing that takes precedence over our relationship with Allah, so no matter what we are doing, we have one goal in mind Jannah’.
Always taking feedback from the public and fans into consideration Francis and Ku maintain their website, My Space and Face book ’We answer our fans directly, and listen to whatever it is that they want to tell us, so if anyone wants to hit us up, we’re listening!’
Quizzing them on their thoughts on the recent scandal which occurred when hijabi sisters were seen removing their hijabs and throwing them at Sami Yusuf at one of his concerts,they expressed their utter shock and contempt for such actions. 'THATS TRUE?! We joke about that stuff!'.” Asking them what they would do to try and counteract such behaviour in teen fans, they are still so shocked they both say that they would never look at sisters if they ever came across such a thing.
Despite my initial impressions of Skater boy meets Muslim Backstreet boys, the Sound of Reason have actually sold me. Although not the greatest fan of their musical genre, I am drawn to their personalities, vision and ambition. With such a deeply ingrained modesty and down to earth way about them, their dedication to deen and dawa is inspiring. The success of their album in the last year alone, with its range of sounds and thought provoking lyrics does not surprise in the least. 'People may compare us to Outlandish, but our style of music is different, it's like chocolate and vanilla'. The guys mean business in every sense of the word and most admirable of all, they are seeking it for the right reasons.
With a sense of humour that will leave you in fits of laughter, they entertained me with them with their pitiful attempts at a British accent and lame jokes. But above all else, the time I spent interviewing them showed me just what truly decent people they really are, down to earth and incredibly humble.
Having not been around as long as other artists, The Sound of Reason are still scaling their vertiginous path to success, although in my mind, there is no doubt they will get there. Travelling around the world, clothing line in the pipeline and working on a new album, these brothers continue to strive to be the best that they can be. Their aim to change the values conveyed in mainstream music is a momentous task in itself, but after meeting these brothers, I’ve no doubt they will give it their best shot.
- Emel magazine - UK

"Reason for sound"

Canadian duo The Sound of Reason talk to Marie-Louise Olson about their music and what inspires them.

It’s 2007. Conflicts around the world seem never ending, particularly those in the Middle East. Enter project peace, a concert in Amman, Jordan featuring reggae superstar Sean Paul and other great artists to raise awareness of these current issues.

Among these artists was The Sound of Reason, a Canadian duo consisting of Kuhyar “Ku” Karimian and Francis Fitzgerald. Both were born and brought up in Montreal. Both are blessed with charming features. Both are Muslim. Both are talented. And both truly believe in the power of music, and how they can change the world through it. Motorola, which sponsored the event, brought them to Jordan along with their band members, Eric
(drummer and Francis’s younger brother), Johnny (rhythm guitar) and Haider (bassist).

I met up with the group before the show and, as we sat in a car bumping through the streets of Amman on our way to the concert venue, they opened up about their music, how they feel about being in the Middle East and about what makes them tick. “I’m feeling absolutely great. I’m excited, I’m amped, and I’m ready to seriously just get on stage and black out for 50 minutes. And when I come out of it, hopefully I’m sweating bullets and people are going crazy!” Eric said with a bubbly smile. At first glance,
you might confuse him with Ashton Kutcher — just slightly younger and with wild, blonde hair. This was his first time in the Middle East. “It’s absolutely beautiful.”
Lead singer Francis, who recently converted to Islam, couldn’t agree more. “We’re driving around this area, and we don’t see one single American chain restaurant anywhere. It’s nice,” he said from behind dark sunglasses. “Yeah. Wow, look at that,” Persian-born Ku said, as he pointed out of the window. “I like this, it’s real you know?”
Ku, 24, is the rapper of the group and spits lyrics with a force that shows his dedication to what he and Francis believe in – helping people. But when The Sound of Reason was formed, it wasn’t what they originally had in mind.
“At first, it was just for the fun of music,” Ku said, running his fingers thoughtfully through his long, wavy hair. “That was a long time ago. When we got serious about two years ago, we decided we have this opportunity to help people in any way we can…maybe through music? I mean, the one thing we can all agree on is that we are only here for a limited amount of time. With this time that we have, what are we going to do?
Are we just gonna come, eat some good stuff, maybe, I don’t know, have some fun…? Is that it? Is that the purpose of life? I don’t know. It seems empty to me. What is your purpose? Figure it out. Do it,” Ku said.
This zest for life and coolness factor was exactly what the Motorola team were looking for when they decided to present the band at Project Peace. Mohammad Chishty, marketing manager for Motorola in Dubai, said: “Motorola is a youth-orientated brand, and when we heard about Project Peace we thought we would bring our own band.
We hooked up with The Sound of Reason through MTV MOTOALERT — a
programme, that showcases Arabic and Middle Eastern talent relevant to the region.
When they got the crowd to sing ‘Hello Moto’ I thought wow that’s great brand activation that only The Sound of Reason could pull off.”
Ku and Francis started making music in a shack in Ku’s backyard. They write all their lyrics and music. Their first album, The Sound of Reason, was released in 2006 and features such song titles as Help Me Change the World, Shoulder to Lean On and Living To Die. Their track Palestine was particularly heartfelt. “The Palestinian conflict is a really, really serious situation. It touched Francis and me. So basically the song is just our hearts going out to the people there,” Ku explained, adding that, thanks to the influence of his father, he decided to major in political science at university. “I just realized that I really didn’t know anything about what’s going on around the world,” he said. Eric jumped in: “These guys sometimes will just sit me down for a good hour and tell me about a situation, such as Palestine,” he said. “They take the time to learn and are willing to learn more and more everyday, which is different from a lot of other artists that
can’t walk the walk that they talk.” “These guys practice what they preach,” he added.
Dusk arrived and the concert kicked off. They were the opening act and their performance was a great success. The crowd embraced the group, who spoke of love and peace while on stage. At one point, Francis asked the audience to hold a moment of silence. “They were amazing!” said Eyad, a local Jordanian, who originally went to the show to see Sean Paul perform. But he was particularly impressed with The Sound of Reason. “They had so much energy and great songs.”
Music is definitely their outlet to the world and the perfect medium to reach out to young people. They don’t seem to care about limits. To Ku and Francis, anything can be achieved. “A lot of people say, ‘Hey, I’m only one person. What can I do?’ You are looking at two guys who are touring all over the world in all sorts of places and we started in a shack. It’s a matter of what you want to do with what you’ve been given,”
said Francis.“Yeah. We don’t have much, in terms of wealth, to give. So what we can do is give our voices,” Ku said. “People don’t realize the power that they have. Like Angelina Jolie is doing an amazing job. She was in a position to do a lot of good and have people follow. That’s what we’re trying to do.” “Someone said to us one time, music is the language of our culture. The youth... that’s what they follow. If you want to change the youth, you have to speak their language,” Francis said. And they certainly spoke their language at Project Peace 2007.
- Gulf Magazine - Dubai UAE

"Motorola gets its Motogroove on with musicians"

Motorola, inc. has launched, the Motogroove pack to Jordan consumers, with performances from famous R&B sensation, The Sound of Reason and reggae superstar Sean Paul.
The Motogroove pack, launched alongside Motorola’s latest handset portfolio including the RAZR V8, MOTO Q and RIZR Z, bundles one of four stylish handsets – the KRZR K1, RIZR Z3, ROKR E6 or RAZR maxx V6 with the ROKR S9 Bluetooth active headphones, delivering a powerful mobile music experience for consumers on the go.
“Motorola is driving the convergence of music and mobility nd bringing choice to mobile consumers in Jordan,” said Patrick Mulligan, area director for Motorola’s mobile devices business in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan.
“The Motogroove pack will enable users to enjoy the freedom and convenience of staying connected and carrying their favorite music with them all the time,” he said.
Motorola’s motogroove pack allows consumers in Jordan to choose the mobile that best reflects their needs: ROKR E6 – a slim premium entertainment PDA with both an integrated MP3 player, dedicated music keys and up to 2GB of MicroSD storage plus email access, business-card reader and other executive features. RAZR maxx V6 – one of the smallest broadband phones available, with lightning fast downloads, exceptional data capabilities, advanced imaging features, music functionality and ample memory for storing users favorite files. KRZR K1 – the definitive luxury mobile for individuals who have an appreciation for cutting edge designs, clean lines, precision detailing and premium materials. RIZR Z3 – the slider handset for music lovers, with built in music player supporting a variety of music formats and up to 2GB of MicroSD storage available. Each MOTOGROOVE pack is bundled with the ROKR S9 Bluetooth active headphones. ROKR S9 weighs barely an ounce and is designed with behind the head style that is comfortable, stylish and wireless. The bundled pack also comes with a 1 GB memory card and the required cables to transfer music and other files to and from your personal computer.
- Gulf News - Amman, Jordan

"Motorola Connects Music with Style at Kuwait Concert"

MOTORAZR Maxx V6 Presented to Highly-Acclaimed Canadian Band Sound of Reason

Kuwait City, KUWAIT, – 15th February 2007 – Canadian hip-hop and R&B sensation The Sound of Reason played to a capacity crowd last weekend at Qasr Hawali, headlining a night that included performances by Isam Bachiri from Outlandish.

Prior to announcing that the band would be the next MTVMOTOALERT featured artist, Motorola presented each member of the band, as well as the other performers, with a MOTORAZR maxx V6. MTV MOTOALERT is a closely-watched creative initiative that showcases musical talent related to the Arab world through a partnership between leading global music brand MTV and Motorola.

In keeping with the creative credentials of Sound of Reason, the MOTORAZR maxx includes an integrated music player that features futuristic touch sensitive music keys for a truly rich music experience. Impressively thin and with a futuristic blend of metal and glass, the stylish handset combines premium-style with high-speed connectivity for the ultimate mobile experience. The handset features fast download speeds via HSDPA and EDGE technologies, VGA and 2.0 megapixel cameras for enabling two-way video calling and fantastic imaging experiences.

“Motorola continues to play an integral role in enhancing the Middle East’s music and nightlife scene across the region, whether it’s through our collaboration with MTV or our consistent delivery of handsets that match the lifestyles of the region's discerning and fashion-conscious consumers. This concert was an ideal opportunity for us to tell our target audience in Kuwait, one of our key markets, that they can take their music wherever they like and experience faster downloads through the new MOTORAZR V6 maxx,” said Mohammed El Yassir, Area Sales Manager for Kuwait and Upper Gulf.

Measuring in at just over 15 mm, the MOTORAZR maxx’s ultra-thin clam-shell design reflects its MOTORAZR pedigree. Its high-end finish includes a futuristic blend of metal and chemically hardened glass, which house a brilliant 2.2 inch 256k colour screen. The handset also provides ample memory with 50 MB2 of memory and an optional 2GB of expandable microSD™ memory for storing personal music, photos, games and other content.


About Motorola
Motorola is known around the world for innovation and leadership in wireless and broadband communications. Inspired by our vision of seamless mobility, the people of Motorola are committed to helping you connect simply and seamlessly to the people, information, and entertainment that you want and need. We do this by designing and delivering "must have" products, "must do" experiences and powerful networks -- along with a full complement of support services. A Fortune 100 company with global presence and impact, Motorola had sales of US $42.9 billion in 2006. For more information about our company, our people and our innovations, please visit
- Portsmouth group - press release

"The Sound of Reason"

The sound of Reason
written by Stu Adams

“We started off small but so does every “big” artist.”

11:30 ON A THURSDAY NIGHT and the show is already an hour behind schedule. Packed, the walls of the Hard Rock Café in downtown Montreal are feeling the pressure. “What d’ya think?...” Francis, the front man of the duo Reason yells out over the deafening crowd, looking at the overwhelming turnout. Five o’clock shadow, curly hair, t-shirt and jeans he greets me with a smile. “He’s back here…” gesturing to follow him back stage to meet up with Reasons second half. “Hold up, I’ll get him…” Ku, the duos behind the scenes half, is busy with the sound engineers getting the last minute details of tonight’s acts. Slight beard, t-shirt, track pants and cap pulled low, he gives Francis the updates. I’m told the show is about to start and make arrangements with Francis to have the interview after their performance. A single guitarist jumps up on stage and wails away signifying the start of the show. The first couple acts break the crowd in, but has trouble capturing the complete attention of the onlookers. Like most of the attendants tonight, the ‘reason’ for my being here is Reason, a name that has steadily been on the rise in Montreal’s urban music scene. Reason brings a new sound that some believe to
be the next biggest trend since Hip Hop’s ‘Bling Bling’ era, music with a message. Urban, Hip Hop and R&B music for the most part only give you a choice between great sounding music accompanied with generic meaningless lyrics, or underground sounding beats with conscious messages. Reason is filling the gap, offering hot instrumentals accompanied by thought out opinionated lyrics. Finally, the opening acts are done and
throughout the crowd you can see cameras being turned on, poised and ready for the next act. Stepping out from behind the pillars Francis and Ku are greeted with an uproar from their fans. My line of sight is blocked by the crowd on their feet squeezing to get closer. I
hear the music start, and try to find a better spot to watch the show. I find some relative tranquility on the stairs leading to the upper level, and station myself against its railing to watch the rest of their performance. It goes off without a hitch, ending off with their upbeat “Gonna Have My Way” as the crowd still on their feet burst into cheers. Although reason is quick to get off stage, the crowd won’t settle down. Screaming for encores, those standing next to me yell out “Put Reason back on!!!” But their set is done, and the duo step down to greet their fans. Once done, they meet me outside bringing masses of people with them. Eventually we find our way to a near café, and aside from a few congratulations we get right to business. Ku (born Kuhyar Karimian) and Francis (born
Francis Fitzgerald III) met each other early on in high school. Francis describes, “Ku had
these thick glasses and looked like such a nerd… man, lookin’ back I feel so bad…” Francis looks back at Ku with a smirk as they both share a laugh. “YEAH!!! … those were the good ol’days” Ku says sarcastically. “Anyways,…” Ku starts up, “we actually only became friends somewhere in grade nine, I think… and then throughout high school we just kinda, started to break away from the rest of the crowd.” Working as a part time DJ on his school radio station, Ku met other artists and producers and eventually was introduced to a local producer who was willing to teach him the trade. “I had no idea Ku was producing…” Francis recounts shaking his head “… this guy… he comes up to me one day and says ‘hey, listen to this’ and plays these two bumpin’ tracks… telling me HE made them… I flipped out!” Ku jumps in “Yeah, and then Francis starts freestylin’ these
Melodies over top of my beats… and then I flipped out!” Leaning in, Ku continues “This
Kid’s got talent. I had written all sorts of lyrics to go with my instrumentals, and then
he comes along, and in just five minutes comes up with these melodies that killed mine…” he pauses a moment, “I’m serious… when it comes to freestylin’ melodies this guy’s a genius…” Francis laughs, and then goes on to tell me how the two began singing answering machines messages for friends as a way to make a buzz, and from there soon became a recognizable movement. “We started off small but so does every ‘big’ artist. God willing our audience will keep getting bigger and bigger.” We sit a half hour more exchanging stories, talking politics and music. 1:02am we leave the café, say our goodbyes and as a parting gift, I am given a documentary ‘What I’ve learnt about U.S. Foreign Policy’ on DVD, and leave feeling quite enlightened by the unique duo. What a night… If any group is going to change the direction of music, I’m convinced it will be Reason.
- Me Magazine


"TheSoundofReason" LP
- Rise (Top 10 on national radio in the middle east)
- Shoulder to lean on



New era. New message. New sound. In less than a year since releasing their first full length album Francis and Ku aka The Sound of Reason are quickly building up a worldwide movement with their harsh and opinionated brand of fusion music. From working with top international artists to being featured as MTV’s artist of the month The Sound of Reason are independently gaining the attention of fans across the world with one goal in mind… change the direction of the mainstream. By setting their own trends The Sound of Reason have gone from their basement studio in Montreal to top 10 on international radio all in under a year. They refuse to follow the dulled down industry standards of songs about clubs, money and bling. Instead they tackle tough issues such as faith, politics and the state of the world in general. They are The Sound of Reason, a name which reflects a meaning in music at a time where musical reason is nowhere to be heard. Their fearless attitude, infectious personalities and all out showmanship have quickly made them one of the fastest growing movements to hit the world’s underground music scene in years. Join the movement. Spread the word to everyone you can. The revolution will not be televised… if you want change let the world know. TheSoundofReason.

“Talk to them for five minutes and you see why
their following is so intense. Not your average
music, not your average artists.”
Muna Ismail
MTV news

“Big things start underground, they are going to be
Mohammed Chishti
Director of Marketing,
Motorola Middle East

“If any group is going to change the direction of
music I’m convinced it will be ‘TheSoundofReason”
Nick Davis
BBC news