On Anniversary of Uprising, Musicians Release
“AZADI: Songs of Freedom for Iran” Mixtape Album!
Oakland, Ca (12 June 2012) - Artists have been translating the pulse of the streets in Iran and in other countries experiencing recent uprisings. In that spirit, musicians from countries including Iran, Egypt, Libya, South Africa, U.S.A, Palestine and Iraq have contributed songs of solidarity, resistance and inspiration for Iranians continuing to struggle for democracy and human rights.
United for Iran and DJ Child of Project Groundation have mixed these songs to produce a free downloadable mixtape, Azadi: Songs of Freedom for Iran, available on the three-year anniversary of the June 12, 2009 election uprising: www.azadimusic.bandcamp.com
Renowned Iranian artists on the album include Mohsen Namjoo, Rana Farhan, Fared Shafinury, Eendo, Abjeez and Kiosk. Arash Sobhani of Kiosk said, “This album celebrates the noblest cause, a people’s struggle for freedom.” The album also includes a song from Bahareh Hedayat, who is serving a 10 years sentence for her activism, and a song by American hiker Sarah Shourd that she wrote the day two other imprisoned hikers, Shane and Josh, were released.
Contributing artists also include Libyan Masoud Bwisri, who became famous playing his guitar for rebels on the front lines of conflict; Rush and MC Amin, rappers providing the soundtrack for the ongoing revolutionary movement in Egypt; and, Salome MC, Iran’s first female rapper.
“We live in a world full of injustice. Human history shows us the only way to fight injustice is to raise your voice, raise awareness, raise the will to fight and get back what is your right by birth,” Salome said. “I am hoping this project will tell Iranians that none of us are alone in this fight.”
“Iranians are our brothers and sisters since ancient days. We share the same destiny. And we share common enemies of freedom and human rights. So we believe that talking to Iran and standing by the Iranian people is important as Egyptians,” said Karim Adel Eissa, aka Rush. “We are reaching out to the people of Iran and the people of Egypt to forge their power and unite for our peoples, and our nations, and our whole region’s sake.”
“This June 12 is an opportunity to reflect on Iran’s movement for human rights, freedom and democracy,” Sarah Shourd said. “The Iranian people will not give up until they have the society and government they deserve and it is up to all of us to show them our support.”
|Salome Mc is the first female rapper in Iran, a multimedia artist and educator. Her song Drunk Shah, Drunk Elder, represents “the voice of the second generation of Islamic Revolution – not only hoping, but moving for change.”|
|Rush is one of three members of the Egyptian hip-hop group Arabian Knightz. MC Amin is an Egyptian solo emcee. Their song Makshofeen is about the misuse of Islam in politics.|
|Abjeez Safoura and Melody Safavi are sisters who with four musicians make up a world pop band. Their song Biyaa/Come On was the first original song recorded in support of the Green Movement in Iran.|
|Kiosk was founded as an underground band in 2003 in Tehran, Iran, by Arash Sobhani. Their song Dasht e Sabz is dedicated to the Green Movement of Iran.|
|Excentrik is a Palestinian-American producer, composer and mc. The Narcicyst is an Iraqi-Canadian journalist and mc. Their song A Piece…(Piece Dies) is “a statement and a cry for unity and resistance. Be it in Palestine, Iraq, or Iran, it is a global struggle.”|
|Revolution of the Mind Iranian-born, California-raised frontman I.Sheik reflects the realities of revolution and exile through powerful and refined lyricism. The song Die for My People tells a fictional story tracing the last 30 years of political history in Iran.|
|Ayla Nereo is a poet and musician from Oakland, CA. Darkest Light “is a prayer of support for those who have been silenced and oppressed… a prayer of solidarity, of freedom; and it is a prayer for the oppressors as well, for their heart’s to open and soften, for light to come in.”|
|Masoud Bwisri became a star in Libya during the start of the revolution when he joined the rebel fighters with his guitar. He says: “Strings, for me are stronger than guns.” Dababat is a song about defiance in the face of brutal oppression, which he sang on the front lines.|
|Rana Farhan blends classical Persian poetry with contemporary jazz and blues. Her song Iran is inspired by the protests in the streets of Iran after the disputed 2009 elections.|
|Bahaisonthemic are a South African collective who write, perform and record together. Their song Siyabonga is “a tribute to our brothers and sisters in South Africa and Iran who suffered for freedom.”|
|Mohsen Namjoo is an Iranian artist, songwriter, singer, music scholar and setar player based in California. His song Hamrah Sho Aziz is about solidarity in the face of suffering and hardship.|
|Sarah Shourd is a writer, musician and activist. She was held in solitary confinement in Iran for 14 months. She wrote the song It’s Your Turn for the campaign to free her then fiancé and her friend, and sings it now for political prisoners in Iran and around the world.|
|Lia Rose is a San Francisco-based indie singer who would sing this song, Phase Two at benefit shows for the American hikers. “I wished I could have played it for those in charge in Iran … asking them to “turn and face the sun, that part which makes you human” … asking them to set them free.”|
|Bahareh Hedayat is an Iranian student activist and campaigner for women’s rights. In 2010 she was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for “anti-state propaganda.” She remains in prison, and was recorded singing Blood of Flowers while free for a few days.|
|Haale is a New York-born singer and composer. Her song Iran is dedicated to “all Iranians who have courageously put themselves on the line to protest the restrictive government.”|
|Fared Shafinury is an Iranian-American musician living in Tehran, Iran and Austin, Texas. This is a rendition of the well-loved resistance anthem Yare Dabestani that is “dedicated to the students and youth of Iran for their courage and perseverance.”|
|Soraya Fallah is a human rights activist of Kurdish origin. She was imprisoned in Iran four times, and tortured so severely that she miscarried in solitary confinement. Her song Chemical Tears is written for women in prison, particularly Zainab Jalalian, an imprisoned Kurdish activist.|
|Eendo consists of Ardalan, a classically trained musician and Shaadbaanoo, a professional photographer. Their song Naale ye Shabgeer was written for those struggling in the protests of 2009.|
|Sofar. During the 2009 uprising, the group strongly felt the responsibility to react to the situation. So they changed the verses to a song they were writing and recorded it as The Green Story. Consequently, the founder and rapper in the group got arrested and spent some time under torture and interrogation.|
|Johnny B. Azari is founder of Freedom Glory Project; poet, film maker and musician. The song Freedom Glory, Be Our Name “is dedicated to the people of Iran and the citizens of the world who stand with them. It is for liberty, dignity, love, peace, and freedom for every man, women, and child on the planet.”|