Two Iranian sisters, named Melody and Safoura Safavi, have always loved music. Their band, called Abjeez (which means ‘sisters’ in colloquial Farsi) blends the different varieties of music that they feel connected to, including reggae, ska, rock, flamenco and pop, seamlessly combining Farsi, English, Swedish and Spanish lyrics to create a sound that falls into the category of “world music”.
Their music serves as a symbol of the thriving underground music scene that works to bridge the cultural divide both within the country and outside of it, urging for people to express themselves creatively. The project, which began with just something the sisters did in their free time, grew as they received so much positive feedback.
Melody told BarakaBits that, “In a society where people are not allowed to express themselves freely, artists — whether inside or outside the country — often have taken the role of a “megaphone”, echoing people’s voices and expressing their concerns and dissatisfaction. In Iran, artists usually take a more careful approach drawing on the metaphorical traditions of Persian poetry, music and art in order to get through the censorship boundaries. For us who are active outside Iran it’s much easier to be bold and frank. However, inserting controversial ideas in symbolic expressions isn’t a new phenomenon. It has always been an important strategy in Iran’s historically oppressed society.”
On July 16, Abjeez will be performing in Boston, and July 18 in New York City. Don’t miss them! Follow them on Facebook for more updates about their tour, and check out their official website.
You can purchase the band’s music here: