Persian pop music
Persian pop music (also known as Iranian pop music or Parsipop) refers to pop music with songs in the Persian language or other regional languages of Iran and Afghanistan. Although Persian pop music originated in Iran, it is also listened to throughout Tajikstan and Afghanistan, and notably by the Afghan and Iranian diaspora in America and Europe.
In the 1990s, Iranian officials decided to produce and promote a "decent" pop music to compete with the informal mainstream Persian pop music, mostly produced in California (so-called "LA-type" music). Ali Moallem (a poet)1 and Fereydoun Shahbazian (a musician) headed a council at IRIB that supervised the revival of domestic pop music.2 Singers such as Shadmehr Aghili(King Of Persian Pop),3 Khashayar Etemadi, Mohammad Isfahani, were among the first singers who got significant support, including promotion by national TV, to produce new pop songs. Domestic pop music received a warm welcome by many people, while it was criticized by the elites as "superficial music" (in the sense of lyrics, music, and the cultural impact). Unhappy with common trends, Shahbazian decided to quit and officially join the critics of this music after a while.4
Pop music in Iran is subject to strict regulation. A permit from the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance (also known as Ershaad) is needed to perform or publish music.5 Officially, there is a three-year waiting period for each album to get a permit. They eventually got it.
As a result of easing cultural restrictions within Iran under president Khatami, a number of Persian pop singers have emerged from within the country. Ever since the current administration took office, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has adopted a different policy, mainly to make it easier to monitor the industry. The new policy included loosening restrictions for a small number of artists, while tightening it for the rest. Even though it has become more difficult for artists to get an album permit, the number of album releases has increased nonetheless. This is because artists have starting asking permits for their next album, even if they have not received one for their previous album (yet).6
At the end of 2009, Sirvan Khosravi was the first (domestic) Iranian artist to get high-rotation airplay on a regular radio station in Europe.7 He made his debut with the title song of his second album Saate 9,8 which also made headlines in the Iranian on-line media.910 Late August 2010, Farzad Farzin made his European chart debut with the second song Chikeh Chikeh from his third legal album Shaans.11 Sirvan Khosravi made a no.1 hit with the song "Na Naro" for the second time in 2012 on the FunX Radio Station.12
Some major contemporary Persian pop artists in Iran include:
- Mohsen Chavoshi
- Ehsan Khajeh Amiri
- Ali Lohrasbi
- Sirvan Khosravi13
- Farzad Farzin14
- Bahador Kharazmi15
- Benyamin Bahadori
- Sari Abboud
- Mohammad Esfahani
- Alireza Eftekhari16
- Alireza Assar
- Reza Sadeghi
- Shadmehr Aghili (who eventually left Iran for Canada)
- Mohsen Yeganeh
Arian Band, the first Persian Pop music band, was formed after the Iranian revolution and have had huge success since then. Aryan band started a new chapter of Iranian pop music. Their debut album, "Gole Aftabgardoon" (The Sunflower) was released in 2000. The album had huge success in Iran.
Another brand of Persian pop music is represented by work of figures like Alireza Eftekhari. Eftekhari among a few others put significant effort in forming a new genre of Iranian pop music. Referring to the difficulties in this way, he once stated: "In order to introduce pop music to Iranian music culture, I have made myself a scapegoat."17
In the 1980s and 1990s, a number of Persian pop stars (mainly) based in Los Angeles, many of whom were born out of Iran or had lived the majority of their lives outside of Iran, began to gain fame. This new wave of Persian pop music often combined elements of American music and culture, as well as Latino culture, to form a new blend of music distinct from earlier periods. The influence of Techno music especially has been very strong. Some major artists include:
- Homeyra, Andy Madadian, Moein, Siavash Shams, Shahab Tiam, Mansour, Susan Roshan, Shahrum K, Farshid Amin, Pyruz, Shohreh Solati, Shahrzad Sepanlou, Ebi, Kamran Delan, Arash, Hengameh, Jamshid, Cameron Cartio, Ishan (band), Afshin, Kamran & Hooman, Fereydoundisambiguation needed, Hi-5disambiguation needed, Shaghayeghdisambiguation needed, Shahriar, Sepideh, Shahram Shabpareh, Black Cats.
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In Iran, before the emergence in the early 1950s of Vigen Derderian, the music industry was dominated by Persian classical singers. Then Vigen, known as the "king of jazz", ushered in a revolution that coincided with the emergence of a new, western-influenced middle class.18
Persian pop music was developed by the 1970s, using indigenous instruments and forms and adding electric guitar and other imported characteristics; the most popular musician of this period was Googoosh. The Golden Age of Persian pop music did not last very long, though, and was banned within Iran after the 1979 revolution.
Many Iranians fled to foreign countries, especially Los Angeles in the United States, and many continued to sing in exile. Many of the popular music TV, radio channels and websites operates outside Iran (aired through various satellites). These broadcast companies play a very important role in promoting and connecting Iranian pop artists to the Iranians all over the world.19
Some of the top figures of the golden era of Iranian pop music include:
- Dariush Eghbali
- Siavash Ghomeyshi
- Faramarz Aslani
- Giti Pashaei
- Leila Forouhar
- Shohreh Solati
- Hassan Shamaizadeh
- Shahram Shabpareh
- Ali Shirazinia, Shahram Tayyebi and Deep Dish: Grammy Award winner
- "Best Middle Eastern Song" & "Best Middle Eastern Album", 2006 JPF Awards: Andy Madadian.
- Ali Moallem on Pop music
- An interview with Fereydoun Shahbazian
- Honorific nicknames in popular music
- Shahbazian criticizing pop music
- Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance website
- Music Review > Farzad Farzin > Shaans
- Iraanse popster Sirvan Khosravi deze week de diXte of FunX Radio
- Sirvan Khosravi - Saate 9 | Music Review | Bia2.com
- ستاره پاپ ایران در رادیوی هلندی
- بنابرگزارش رادیو Funx هلند آهنگ «ساعت 9» سیروان؛ رتبهی اول چارت رادیوی هلندی شد
- FunX XTips Chart
- قطعه «نه نرو» سیروان؛ رتبهی اول چارت رادیوی هلندی شد
- Sirvan Khosravi Official FanPage
- Farzad Farzin Official Website
- "B.B.C Persian". Retrieved 2005-01-14.
- Eftekhari: Popular and classical vocalist.
- Music Should Keep Up With the Times
- Vigen Derderian: Pop idol of a musical revolution in Iran
- Submitting clips for TV Broadcast
- http://www.pmc.tv (Popular TV, Radio and Online Music Channel in Iran that helps Persian Singers promote their songs)
- Persian Music
- Radio FunX (Dutch public radio station)
- http://radionabz.com Radio Nabz (Online radio streaming Persian pop music)
- http://bia2.com/music-review/ Professional reviews by Pourya] (Bia2)
- Pop music in Tajikistan (BBC Persian)
- Persian DJ (DJ Omead)