Florin Stoian (born 1 October 1979, Bucharest), better known under the stage name of Florin Salam and previously Florin Fermecătorul, is a popular Roma singer of manele from Romania.
Early life and first contact with music
Florin Salam was born into a family of lăutari. His parents, Maria and Robert Stoian, observed since his early childhood that Florin is talented and bought him an accordion and so Florin began to practice every day.
During the adolescence, Florin joined his father and uncle at parties to sing together and win some money. Age did not allow his father to sing and so Florin took his place, singing with his uncle under the name of Florin Fermecătorul. Thus, he became a singer highly appreciated by connoisseurs of the genre. In the meantime, Florin befriended with bandleader Dan Bursuc. He helped Florin to record his first single called "Ce gagică șmecherită" (English: Such a picky chick), in 2002. He played an important part when the smash hit "Of, viața mea" (English: Oh, my life) was released in 2000, sung by Adrian Minune and Costi Ioniță. At the end of 2002, Florin changed his stage name from Fermecătorul (English: charming) to the Arabic Salam (English: peace, cf. Hebrew shalom). His first song was a great success, and for this reason he continued to record songs and market them with the help of Dan Bursuc. In this way he released his first album of manele which was surprisingly well received by fans of the genre, the album sold more than 40,000 copies. Likewise, Costi Ioniță recorded one of his albums which enjoyed a high success, album entitled "Doar cu tine" (English: Only with you). The album was recorded in Constanța where Costi Ioniță has his own recording studio.
His friendship with Dan Bursuc brought only advantages, so he met artists of this genre, artists like Vali Vijelie, Nicolae Guță and Daniela Gyorfi.
In 2008 he performed a song together with pop singer Paula Seling and the Bucharest Symphonic Orchestra. The show host described their performance as a reconciliation between manele and mainstream pop music; in the same respect, the song's lyrics raised the problem of ethnic intolerance.
In October 2011, Florin Salam collaborated with musician Goran Bregović along with recorded "Hopa Cupa", song included in the album "Champagne for Gypsies" of the Bosnian singer. The album is "in reaction to the extreme pressure that Gypsies (Roma) have been experiencing lately across Europe".
Florin Stoian is the vice-president of Asociația Artiștilor, Muzicanților și Lăutarilor Romi din România (English: The Association of Romani Artists, Musicians and Lăutari from Romania). In December 2005, he was announced the best manele performer of the year. According to the daily paper Libertatea, politician Mădălin Voicu and footballer Marius Niculae count among his fans."Viața lui Florin Salam". FamousWhy (in Romanian). 22 November 2010. "Champagne for Gypsies (2012)". Goran Bregović.
Saint Tropez and subsequent success
In February 2013, Florin Salam recorded "Saint Tropez". The song had an unexpected success, the official video gathering more than 25.2 million views on YouTube, inasmuch as he was accused that copied the song from Bulgarian singer Azis. His video became viral and ranked the second place as the most viewed videos on Romanian YouTube in 2013, after Andra's song "Inevitabil va fi bine". Since then, Florin has several concerts in the country and abroad, where large communities of Gypsies live.
Among the most resounding collaborations have included those with Claudia Păun and Nicolae Șușanu, enjoying great success in the country. His smash hit "Ești bombă" (English: You're a bomb), released in July 2013 in collaboration with Șușanu was viewed by more than 17.9 million people on YouTube, while the songs launched with Claudia ("Ce bine ne stă împreună" – How well we stand together, "Ce frumoasă e dragostea" – How beautiful is love, "Mergem mai departe" – We go further) feature themes like unfeasible love or desire to be near loved one, themes with great attraction to the Chingy public.
Today, Florin Salam collaborates with record labels Nek Music and Big Man.
Discography (2012–present)A.C. (14 February 2014). "Florin Salam după ce a fost acuzat că a furat piesa "Saint Tropez": "Lumea e invidioasă că am scos eu cel mai frumos videoclip. Eu am făcut versurile melodiei. De 3 luni n-am mai călcat în România"". WOWBiz (in Romanian). Mădălina Cerban (11 December 2013). ""Inevitabil va fi bine", lider pe YouTube. Ce videoclipuri au accesat românii". Mediafax.ro (in Romanian).
Florin Salam has two children – Daniel and Beatrice (better known under her stage name Betty Blue) –, from a short marriage with Ștefania Victoria. Florin Salam was married to Ștefania in September 2007, in Antalya, Turkey; the best man was manele singer and close collaborator Adrian Minune. The wedding cost was not less than 500,000 euros. On 12 April 2009, Ștefania (aged 27) died from renal failure, aggravated by a kidney infection. Moreover, she longer suffered from hepatic cirrhosis.
After his wife's death, Florin had no partner, until 2013, when he met Oana, a young woman from Ploiești. But their relationship did not last more than a few months. As of 2014, he is in a relationship with Roxana Dobre, which previously posed for Playboy magazine. They intend to marry, and Roxana is pregnant with a girl.
Relations with moneylenders
Early in his career, Florin Salam was financially supported by brothers Sile and Nuțu Cămătaru, renowned moneylenders, involved in several cases of roguery, blackmail or attempted murder. After his wife's death, Florin succumbed to gambling, accumulating debts, fact that pushed him to borrow money from moneylenders. In August 2013, Florin was aggressed by three members of Vancică clan in front of the Rin Grand Hotel in Bucharest, who were trying to recover by force money given to Florin with usury. Moreover, Florin Salam was investigated by DIICOT for drug use."Florin Salam e în doliu! Soția lui a murit la 27 de ani". Știrile Pro TV (in Romanian). 14 April 2009. "Florin Salam și-a găsit jumătatea! Cine este noua iubită a manelistului". Antena 1 (in Romanian). 18 December 2013. "Florin Salam și Roxana Dobre și-au ales nașul! Sile Cămătaru îi va cununa pe cei doi îndrăgostiți!". Antena Stars (in Romanian). 30 September 2014. "Florin Salam şi Roxana Dobre vor avea o fetiţă". România TV (in Romanian). 25 March 2015. Dobrescu, Petre (1 August 2013). "Florin Salam e prizonierul interlopilor". Libertatea (in Romanian). "Poliția a ridicat peste 70.000 euro din casele "Cămătarilor" și "Sportivilor". Nuțu Cămătaru - săltat de acasă, Sile Cămătaru - reținut alături de alți 40 de infractori". Antena 3 (in Romanian). 22 February 2013. "Dosarele grele ale maneliștilor celebri! Minune, Salam și Vijelie au avut probleme cu legea". Libertatea (in Romanian). 7 April 2015.