Since 1994, Zain Bhikha has inspired fans the world over with his messages of hope and upliftment. As a singer, songwriter and through creative workshops and television, Zain is amongst the most popular English Islamic artists, well-loved by young and old.
In 2014, Zain celebrates twenty years as an artist. With twelve albums under his belt and a thirteenth to be released this year, Zain’s audience continues to grow in his country of birth, South Africa, as well as globally. Zain remains a pioneer in the ‘Nasheed’ (spiritual) genre of music, where he has set benchmarks for other artists. His albums have been launched in the United Kingdom, North America, Malaysia, France, Turkey, Holland, India, The Middle East, Ivory Coast and Australia. Zain has touched lives everywhere performing in cities across most continents.
Over and above his individual endeavors, Zain has also collaborated and performed with a long list of artists such as Dawud Wharnsby, Native Deen, Outlandish, Raihaan, Khalid Belhrouzhi, Khalil Ismail, Sound of Reason, Rashid Bhikha and not forgetting his mentor, Yusuf Islam. His songs are mainly self-composed, performed with no instruments. Through his music, Zain delivers messages of faith reassuring people that looking to the Almighty, is the hope mankind needs.
Driven by emotion, many of his songs represent significant times in his life and the lessons he has learnt through personal experience. Zain Bhikha’s music further enhances spiritual contemplation encouraging people to be proud of their beliefs, of who they are and to work towards a better, united world.
In his free time, Zain enjoys being with his wife and four sons at their home in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a family man, and credits his parents for the unconditional support they have given him over the years.
Zain Bhikha was born in 1974 in Pretoria, South Africa to Rashid and Mariam Bhikha. The only son, with three sisters, Zain was musically inclined from a young age and often commended for his melodious singing voice.
Zain did not receive any formal music training but a natural inclination for writing and composing led him to what eventually changed the course of his life. In 1994, he entered and won a singing competition hosted by ‘702’- a local Johannesburg Radio Station. A simple song that he recorded on his home karaoke system, stood out amongst the thousands of mainly professional participants. Winning the 702 competition motivated Zain to record a professional album. This materialized into A Way of Life, a compilation of basic Acapella Islamic songs, mostly in English, covering the various tenets of Faith. The album was released in South Africa in November of 1994, and was received favorably by an eager Muslim community.
Zain Bhikha’s songs proved to be popular throughout South Africa, especially with young children who found them educational and inspiring. With demands from a hungry audience, Zain soon soon released three more albums in quick succession following A Way of Life.
As the interest in his music grew, his albums began to filter abroad. As fate would have it, they eventually came to the ears of World Renowned Muslim activist, Yusuf Islam, better known as Cat Stevens.
At the time, Yusuf Islam was working on a project entitled A is for Allah and believed Zain could contribute by lending his voice to some of the songs. In 1999, Zain flew to the United Kingdom to join Yusuf Islam’s Mountain of Light Studios to record. This opportunity was a lifelong dream for Zain. What was more exciting was that he was given the chance to perform in seven of the eight songs on the album. It was during the production of this album that Zain was brought on board as an artist under Mountain of Light’s cultural label, Jamal Records.
Music and moments after meeting Yusuf Islam
In 2005, after realizing the need for a locally based recording company, Zain established a South African based production company called Zain Bhikha Studios to house all of his enterprises and also give local and international artists the platform to gain exposure to global markets. Today, Zain Bhikha Studios is a non-profit organisation and all proceeds from Zain’s album sales and shows go towards deserving charities.
Under his own label, Zain Bhikha has released seven albums and two singles CD’s. All of his albums have featured amongst the top ten bestsellers by Muslim Artists. His artistically produced videos have appeared in television channels throughout the world and on his YouTube channel that is visited by thousands daily.
In 2005 Zain established a South African based production company called “Zain Bhikha Studios”. This company serves to house all of Zain’s present and future works in all fields; be it song, albums, educational projects through schools, workshops or theatre productions. Zain Bhikha Studio’s was also created with the intention of giving local and international artists the platform to gain exposure through Zain’s experience and resources in the industry.
Since 2009, Zain has featured annually in the esteemed publication “Top 500 Influential Muslims in the World”, proving how the artist who started with a passion for song, has gone on to inspire Muslims across the globe. Through the years, Zain Bhikha has been invited by a number of organisations to lend his voice to events promoting World Peace and Tolerance. In March 2010, he was honoured to be among a group of World Islamic leaders, scholars and philosophers, invited to attend the Dubai Peace International Convention aimed at global Unity through Peace.
Over and above his music, Zain has also designed a special workshop entitled “The Art of Creative Expression”. Passionate about the development of young people, Zain aims this course at teenagers and motivates them to utilize their creative talents for the benefit of society and self.
In addition to producing music, Zain has written and directed theatrical productions with a spiritually uplifting message. One of his productions was “An Orphan’s Tale”, successfully produced in conjunction with a South African School
In 2008, an interest in television production and its influence as a medium for positive upliftment also led to Zain’s collaboration with Peace T.V. Working alongside his dear friend, Dawud Wharnsby, the outcome is a series entitled “Living Islam with Zain and Dawud”.
Many fans may not be aware that Zain Bhikha Studios is a non-profit organisation and that all proceeds from Zain’s album sales and shows go towards deserving charities. Since his return to South Africa in 2009, Zain has actively pursued projects closer to home, especially with regards to youth programs and charity work. As part of the Ibn Sina Institute of Tibb, his family’s health and welfare organization, Zain is dedicated to socially uplifting disadvantaged communities.
Zain continues to lend his voice to unity amongst peoples of the world. He remains actively involved in the establishment of young artists through Zain Bhikha Studios, whilst pursuing his passion for song.
Zain Bhikha can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org