I am generally not a huge fan of Persian pop music except some old timers like Dariush, Farhad (RIP), Googoosh, Haydeh (RIP), among few others, many of whom have been performing since before the 1979 revolution.
Among the newer pop singers I like the Iran-based Mohsen Chavoshi with melancholic love songs. The rapper, Shahin Najafi who is based in Europe, has got powerful social/political lyrics, though it is not really pop music.
And of course we have the SF Bay Area based Kiosk lead by Arash Sobhani, with his insightful social and political songs. But again in terms of style of music they started as alternative rock and over the past few years their band has evolved and the music now is more jazz than pop. I will be covering Kiosk in more detail in a future piece.
In the pop music scene however we have a new pleasant voice, Mehrnoosh, a relatively new arrival from Iran who is doing some good work and has become quite popular in a very short time. Her song چشمات (“Cheshmat” meaning “your eyes”), broke a record on the Persian internet radio, RadioJavan.com. Its video on YouTube has had more than 765,000 hits in about 5 months!
But my favorite song and video of hers so far is کم میارمت (“Kam Miaaramet”), with a very nice video, directed by Kamran Kerdouni, who has also directed a number of Googoosh’s music videos. The music and words are by Kamran Rasoulzadeh, the arrangement by Jamal Khoodami, and the label is Avang.com. It’s Valentine’s day today and I think this is an appropriate though a sad song for the occasion. You can watch it below.
In an interview with RadioJavan.com in Sep. 2010, Mehrnoosh speaks about her work and the challenges that she faced (especially as a woman) in doing her musical work in Iran. Despite this, most of the work for her songs (with the exception of the video musics) so far has been done in Iran. When asked about musicians who have influenced her, she mentions Siavash Ghomeishi, a well-known Iranian pop song writer and singer, as her favorite. It is interesting to note that prior to her musical work, she taught mathematics at university level in Iran!
Mehrnoosh will be releasing a CD soon. But her singles are already available for purchase on the internet. I wish her increased success and hope to see more work from her in the near future.