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Wolde-Mariam (left) and Baqwa in May 2010
|Genres||Electropop, dance-pop, hip hop, Eurodance|
|Labels||Cosmos, Columbia, Sony Music Nasty Kutt, Bonnier Amigo Music Norway AS, RCA Records, Universal Republic, Warner Music, Just Music|
|Website||Madcon official website|
Yosef Wolde-Mariam (born on 4 August 1978) is a Norwegian TV presenter and a rapper.
He grew up in Grefsen (part of Oslo) with his mother residing later variously in Røyken, Grønland Grünerløkka and Bekkelaget, all Oslo suburbs. In 2012, he was a mentor on the Norwegian version of The Voice known as The Voice – Norges beste stemme broadcast on the Norwegian television station TV 2.
Baqwa was born in Germany and moved to Norway when he was just 6 months old. He moved to South Africa with his parents when he was 14 years old, eventually returning to Norway for a musical career.
Besides him being one half of the Norwegian duo Madcon, he took part and won the third season of the Norwegian dance competition Skal vi danse (meaning Shall we dance). Although Tshawe got lesser points from the judges who favoured the other finalist Mona Grudt, he won by public vote over Grudt. He also appeared as a voice over artist in Rio, a 20th Century Fox film, playing the character of Nico.
Madcon released their first single, "God Forgive Me" in 2000 (Virgin Records), but their first commercial breakthrough came with the hit single "Barcelona" in 2002 with long-time collaborators Paperboys (on the Bonnier Amigo record label). In 2004, Madcon released their first official album It's All A Madcon (AA-Recordings/Bonnier Amigo), for which they won a Norwegian Grammy and several other awards. In 2005, Madcon were TV personalities on the Nordic music channel The Voice, while working on their music in the studio. The show "The Voice of Madcon", a behind-the-scenes of the duo, was a great success for both Madcon and the network.
In autumn 2007, Baqwa was invited to take part in the popular reality television program Skal vi danse?, the Norwegian version of Strictly Come Dancing eventually winning that year's series.
Their second album, So Dark The Con Of Man, was released on 3 December 2007. In the United Kingdom, the album reached number 137 on the album charts. In Norway, the album was certified gold in 3 hours and platinum in 3 days. The album featured the soul singer Noora Noor and Paperboys on two of the songs.
In 2008, Madcon released a cover version of a 1967 The Four Seasons' song "Beggin'", earning the group several #1 chart positions in France, Portugal, Norway and Russia, and a global position # 2 on the European Billboard Hot 100 chart. In addition, they achieved 9 x platinum in Norway, and were No. 1 on the official Norwegian sales charts for 12 weeks, making "Beggin" one of the biggest hits of all times in Norway. Madcon’s cover of "Beggin" was created by 3Elementz (now ELEMENT), who also produced the other singles “So Dark The Con Of Man", and all tracks of the Inconvenient Truth album. They led the World Music Awards on 10 November 2008 and won the World's Best Selling Norwegian Artist Award. "Beggin'" reached Gold sales in the United States.
After several negotiations, Madcon's label (Bonnier Amigo) signed a licensing agreement with Sony BMG for Central Europe, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand, Universal Republic in the U.S., Warner Music in Spain, and Just Music in South Africa. Madcon have also hosted the Norwegian version of Don't Forget the Lyrics!, Kan du Teksten? on TV 2 (Norway).
Their third album, Inconvenient Truth was released all over Europe in early to mid-2009, and the group saw other major releases, including in the USA, Japan and Australia.
Madcon performed their song "Glow", as the background of the "Eurovision 2010 Flashmob dance" that was broadcast in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 interval act. The song became another one of the biggest hits of all times in Norway, reaching more than 10 times platinum status in Norway and platinum in Germany. The song was produced by ELEMENT.
Madcon reached platinum status with the hit single "Freaky Like Me", featuring Ameerah and produced by the Norwegian hit producer DreamRoc'a, also known as Sha Arjang Shishegar and TJ Oosterhuis. "Freaky Like Me' is the group's third biggest international hit.
Musical style and performanceEdit
Madcon's song "Beggin'" was used in the movies Step Up 3, Street Dance 3D, Just Go With It and the theatrical trailer for Bad Teacher. It was sung by Philip Phillips on American Idol in 2012, and by Bill Downs and Max Milner in the battle rounds of The Voice UK series 1.
- Kjendis.no Yosef takker kona Ammina (in Norwegian)
- Aftenposten: Nå handler det om oss! (in Norwegian)
- "ELEMENT". Retrieved April 26, 2015.
- "Alexis Jordan received the first prize". May 29, 2011. Retrieved May 29, 2011.
- "Madcon Official Myspace page" Retrieved on 31 October 2010
- "Bill Downs Vs Max Milner: Battle Performance". April 21, 2012. Retrieved April 26, 2015.