Cat Stevens a.k.a. Yusuf Islam revealed less known aspects of his life and his relationship with Greece in an interview he gave to Australian newspaper Neos Kosmos. He also talked about his decision to change his name to an Islamic one.
As for his name change, he commented that “to be honest, I have changed my name five times. My aunt Maria, who lives in Melbourne, says that my father gave me two names, Stefanos-Dimitris, and later I was named after my grandfather Adam, too. My name is a symbol to me.”
“I changed my name Stefanos-Dimitris to Steven Adams and Cat Stevens for artistic reasons because I was trying to make a career back then,” continues singer and song-writer of Greek origin and explains that our names reflect different periods of our life.
But why did he change his name to Yusuf Islam, you wonder? “When I discovered Islam, I realized that this religion consists of unity and a prophetic story. The Holy Quran’s story appeared more clear than that of the Bible to me. I thought it was symbolic and due to the fact it looked like my personal story, I decided to change my name,” adds Cat Stevens.
But he makes clear that his former Greek name and his Greek origin do not belong to the past. “My family members are really close to each other, and I visit Greece every year. My brother lives in Greece but lately, I visit Greece even more often because I realize that my close friends and relatives living there face great difficulties,” continues the Australia-based artist.
He also believes that his personality, always longing to discover new things, is purely Greek that’s why he does not feel satisfied with anything permanent. “I don’t think of the Acropolis as it stands today, but of the minds that built it.”
As for Cyprus, he stresses that political life of Cypriot citizens could be improved if “their big brothers- Greece and Turkey- stopped fighting each other.” He concludes that “I pray for Cyprus because peace is good and the only solution to every puzzle.”