quicklaunch about project 300

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.

Jan 29

Artist Spotlight: Babak Maddah

4 comments posted by legofish at 11:36 PM

babakmaddah.gifIn the past, attempts at fusing Jazz music with Persian sounds have been few and for the most part, unsuccessful. The two sounds just seem to clash and I have never heard a true Persian/Jazz blend that I had actually enjoyed listening to. That is until I heard from Babak Maddah.

I had interviewed Lloyd Miller, an Ameircan artist who used to live in Iran during the 70s, and his attempts at Persian Jazz a few years ago. Luckily Babak somehow found the interview and got in touch with me to let me know about his own attempts.

If you are a fan of Jazz and like me you've always yearned for hearing an enjoyable Persian/Jazz fusion, I strongly recommend that you check out Babak Maddah Group's myspace page and listen to some of their tunes.

Babak comes from the southern region of Iran, where the local music has strong Afro, Arab influences. He currently lives in Amsterdam where he graduated with a masters degree from the Amsterdam Conservatory in Jazz music and drums.

His Persian Jazz tunes seem to flow quite effortlessly. I particularly like the way he uses the Pesian Zarb percussion and blends it in with the prominently Jazzy foreground.

May 31


9 comments posted by legofish at 02:20 PM

Meera is an alternative rock band in Iran who have been around for a number of years. I recently stumbled upon a new music video by them and thought I would share it here. Farzam Rahimi, the band's vocalist is truly one of my favorite Persian vocalists around. His singing voice has an original quality that is both genuine and effortless, which I feel is a rarity among Persian vocalists who often sound disingenuous and imitating.

you can also check out their older music videos here, and here.

Apr 10

New Music

13 comments posted by legofish at 01:31 PM

Yas, one of the emerging Persian hip-hop artists has released a new track which is sort of a rebuttal against "300". I have added it to the playlist. From now on, I'm going to simply add to the playlist and bump the player up whenever I receive new music.

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.

Mar 30

Reveal joins project 300

12 comments posted by legofish at 01:38 AM

reveal.gif London-based hip hop artist Reveal (aka Prince of Persia) has joined our project and has been kind enough to send us his new track "Prince of Persia" to feature on our site. He has also recorded a message regarding project 300 which you can check out below. What's more is that he's sent us an exclusive recorded verse from his soon-to-be released track. We thank Reveal and we hope to feature more of his great music on Project 300 Weblog.

p.s. While you're at it check out this video of Reveal with Hich-Kas, the Tehran-based rapper. The video is also shot in Tehran:

Mar 28

Iranian Rock Band Has a New York Moment

posted by legofish at 03:11 PM

hypernova Tehran-based music band Hypernova, spearheaded by former Vancouverite -and friend of a friend- Raam, is in New York. Check out what they're up to. The music scene in Iran is quite complex, none of the music I have so far posted here is actually 'legal' in Iran. These artists can never officially release records and sell them in Iran. They can't have official concerts and gigs either. But they're music is still tolerated, and they distribute their music through their websites and play semi-private underground gigs. Still, what they do is almost entirely for the love of the music since they hardly make any money from it. Recently some of these bands have started selling their music on iTunes, but their target market is made up entirely of Iranians living abroad, since online shopping is practically impossible in Iran.

Mar 28

A couple of music videos worth checking out

9 comments posted by legofish at 09:46 AM

I recently came across a couple of nice music videos. One of them, Tresses in the Wind, is shot in Iran and features Zahra Amir Ebrahimi, whose alleged private sex video was one of the biggest scandals in Iran last year. I think the video does a great job in conveying the mood it wishes to convey:

The second one is Kiosk's new music video, which uses some clever - if not terribly original - animation using old Iranian photographs: