Iranian Musician Risks Imprisonment for New Album

Iranian musician Mehdi Rajabian had already been imprisoned for two years, but again faces arrest for creating songs which Iranian authorities disapproved of. 

Rajabian told BBC news that he will not back down and censor his music. He has been working on a new album, called Coup of the Gods, from his home’s basement in Sari, Northern Iran. 

The album is comprised of a Brazilian orchestra in collaboration with musicians from Turkey, Russia, India, Argentina and two female American singers, Lizzy O’Very and Aubrey Johnson.

The album expressed a bold political statement, as female vocalists are banned in Iran. Rajabian went to trial last year for announcing that he wanted to work with female musicians, but the judge said that his statement supports prostitution. 

The album will be released this Friday, September 17, weeks after the Taliban conquered Iran’s eastern neighbor Afghanistan. The militant group already banned public musical performances as it is “un-Islamic”. 

Rajabian said, “I can tell the world that no dictatorial power can stifle the freedom of music; I went through all the prohibitions and barbed wire of prison, and today I brought music to the audience, even if it means returning to prison myself.”

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