Cat Stevens says it was challenging coming back into the music industry in the Beyonce and Amy Winehouse era.

The 68-year-old singer/songwriter - who now goes by the name Yusuf Islam after converting to Islam - made a return with his first album under his new moniker for his 12th studio LP 'An Other Cup' in November 2006.

At the time, R&B superstar Beyonce had brought out songs including 'Irreplaceable' and Winehouse - who died in July 2011 from alcohol intoxication aged just 27 - released her critically-acclaimed LP 'Back to Black', and Stevens says it felt like a ''different'' world to return to.

In an interview with The Sunday Morning Herald, he said: ''It was kind of a different world, you know. There were like the Amy Winehouses and However, the 'Peace Train' hitmaker said it was no different coming back off hiatus releasing music as it was in his hey day in the 70s, as he admits people ''always'' had a ''problem'' with his music.

He said: ''There was always a problem anyway, you know.

''When my music used to play, people used to stop dancing and sit down. They'd say, 'This is an interesting lyric'.''

However, in a world where Donald Trump is the President of America and ISIS, Stevens says his music is as ''relevant'' now as it ever was.

He also spoke of how his grandson thinks his 1990 hit 'I've Got A Thing About Seeing My Grandson Grow Old', is about him although he wasn't born when it was written.

He said: ''I wrote songs at a young age that were quite mature in their.

''I wrote one called 'I've Got A Thing About Seeing My Grandson Grow Old'. That wasn't relevant then but it is today.

''It's really cool - now my grandson listens to it and says, 'My song! That's my song!'''

''If you look at you know the rise of movements like ISIS, there's no wonder why I've come back singing again. Getting us back to that place in humanity when we can start to meet again and feel connections ... It's part of my role now to do that.

''Hope lies in being open-eyed and looking at this world as a possibility and as an opportunity, not as a lost case. Never.''