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Project 300 is an artistic collaboration aimed at showing the forgotten face of ancient Persia and modern day Iran. Click here to find out more.

Apr 05

the revival of alternative Persian music

13 comments posted by legofish at 11:45 AM

Despite the numerous limitations, alternative Persian music has been enjoying a revival of sorts in the past few years. After pop music was largely banned around two-and-a-half decades ago, Persian pop artists fled to the States and continued their brand of pop music in LA.

For decades, the sounds coming out of the exiled Persian pop music industry lacked originality and was subsequently labelled "LA style" music because of a similar style; Persian dance songs based on 6/8 time signature.

With the easing of restrictions on music inside Iran, and with the new generation of musician's growing thirst for alternative music styles, the recent years have seen a flurry of vibes coming out of the Persian music scene that were never heard before.


No other genre has seen a bigger growth than hip-hop, with virtually hundreds of new rappers sprouting both inside Iran and out. Recently the addition of a few female artists has broken the trend in this largely male-dominated playing field. My newest discovery is Entegham, the girl hip-hop duo of Farnaz and Sogand. You can check out their sounds here.

Another alternative band with female leads is sweden-based Abjeez, who'se music has a more folk sound to it. Here's a funny promo they've made for their upcoming US tour:

While foreign-based artists like Abjeez benefit from better music infrastructure, it should be noted that few bands inside Iran can actually sign deals with record labels since the few official labels that exist can only sign state-approved artists. The others continue their music in the underground scene, distributing it through the internet, and often without any financial return.