Persian pop music

Persian pop music refers to pop music with songs in the Persian language. Although Persian pop music originated in Iran, it quickly spread throughout Afghanistan, Tajikstan, and eventually America. Today, Persian pop music is popular throughout the world, especially in Tehran and Los Angeles.

Early history

Persian pop music originated during Qajar dynasty in 19th century. However after the invention of radio in 1930, it grew rapidly in Persia (Iran). [ [ Pop music in Iran] ]

The Golden Age of Persian Pop Music

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 "Sultan of pop", ushered in a revolution that coincided with the emergence of a new, western-influenced middle class. [ [,12858,1093324,00.html Vigen Derderian: Pop idol of a musical revolution in Iran] ]

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. Top figures of the golden era of Iranian pop music include:
* Farhad Mehrad
* Vigen Derderian
* Googoosh
* Hayadeh
* Homeyra
* Sattar
* Ebi
* Betty
* Shohreh Solati
* Aref (Aref Arefkia)
* Mahasti
* Siavash Shams
* Ramesh
* Leila Forouhar
* Dariush Eghbali
* Siavash Ghomeyshi
* Hassan ShamaizadehThey mostly left Iran after the revolution, as they were not able to continue their passion for music.

Contemporary Persian Pop in Iran, Central Asia, and Pakistan

In the 90's, 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) [ [ Ali Moallem on Pop music] ] and Fereydoun Shahbazian (a renowned musician) headed a council at IRIB that supervised the revival of domestic pop music. [ [ An interview with Fereydoun Shahbazian] ] Singers such as Shadmehr Aghili, 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. [ [ Shahbazian criticizing pop music] ]

Recently, as a result of easing cultural restrictions within Iran, a number of Persian pop singers have emerged from within the country. The runaway success of Benyamin Bahadori in particular cannot be overstressed as monumental to contemporary Persian pop music. This new brand of native Persian pop music shows strong techno influences. 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." [ [ Music Should Keep Up With the Times] ]

Some major contemporary Persian pop artists in Iran include:

*Alireza Eftekhari, Popular and classical vocalist. [ [ Eftekhari: Popular and classical vocalist.] ]
*Alireza Assar
*Muhammad Esfahani
*Benyamin Bahadori
*Shadmehr Aghili (who eventually left Iran for Canada)
*Reza Sadeghi
*Mohsen Chavoshi

Arian Band, the first Persian Pop music band, was formed after 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. Also, Persian pop music has enjoyed a renaissance in Tajikstan, being influenced by both Western techno music and some Indian styles. Some famous artists include:

*Sadriddin (sometimes spelt 'Sadruddin')
*Manija Dawlatova

However, Tajik artists enjoy relatively little of the visibility and popularity afforded Iranian artists, to a large extent because of the country's diminutive role in the Persian-speaking world.

Since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the Afghan music scene has begun to re-emerge. The most notable Afghan pop singers of late 20th century are:
*Farhad Darya
*Ahmad Zahir

Contemporary Iranian pop in the United States

In the 1980s and 1990's, 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:

*Andy, Moein, Siavash Shams, Mansour, Susan Roshan, Shahrum K, Farshid Amin, Pyruz, Shohreh Solati, Shahrzad Sepanlou, Kamran Delan, Arash, Hengameh, Jamshid, Cameron Cartio, Muhammad, Afshin, Kamran & Hooman, Fereydoun, Hi-5, Sandy, Shaghayegh, Shahriar, Sepideh, Shahram Shabpareh.

Alongside these artists, a new age of Iranian pop has started to form. Artists, such as Ryan Motamed and Amir Hakimi of [ Goozer Productions] , have been creating parodies of American songs to blend their two cultures together.


*Ali Shirazinia, Shahram Tayyebi and Deep Dish: Grammy Award winner
*"Best Middle Eastern Song" & "Best Middle Eastern Album", 2006 JPF Awards: Andy Madadian.


ee also

*Rock and alternative music in Iran
*Iranian Rap

External links

* [ Professional reviews by Pourya] (Bia2)
* [ Pop music in Tajikistan] (BBC Persian)

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