Sami Yusuf was born in 1980 in the city of Tehran, Iran and moved to Britain when he was three, and he was raised in West London. He comes from an ethnic Iranian Azeri family. At a very young age he started to play various musical instruments and enthusiastic in keeping interest in singing and composing. He was accepted as a composition student at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In addition to his education in Western harmonics and composition, Sami has a solid understanding of the Iranian and Middle Eastern modes (or Maqams) and is thoroughly acquainted and familiar with both East and Western musical traditions.