New Iranian president Hassan Rouhani is wasting little time in his first term, having appointed a new cabinet, struck a deal on Iran’s nuclear enrichment activities, and now finally dropping his first music video since taking up his new post.
“The people of Iran are expecting a different sound from Rouhani,” says producer Iftikhar “Lil Scimtar” Musheikhi, who is attempting to bring Rouhani away from the early releases most Iranians know him by, namely his seminal 1997 album Islamatic. “We knew this would have to be a big record… I mean, he’s president now.” Purportedly, the new track elevates his original style while breaking from the years of embarrassing R&B releases from former president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.
Having suffered widespread scrutiny in the international community for release after release of “the same old records” helmed by Ayatollah Khameini, once the veritable Rick Rubin of Persia, Rouhani aims to usher in a new era of Iranian pop, breaking from traditional roots and employing a style more palatable to the rest of the world, namely the West. To accomplish this, Musheikhi enlisted some of Iran’s more progressive musicians to collaborate on Rouhani’s upcoming album.
“We’ve got all the big Iranian stars on this thing–Baklava Bamzoo, Aya-Trill-ah, Bilquis da Ratchet singing the hooks… This is not your pedarbozorg’s music.”
Above: Baklava Bamzoo in the booth
Rouhani’s highly anticipated album will set the tone for his entire reign in Iran, and many are hoping it will indicate change.
“I’m sick of the same old stuff we have been hearing since my parents’ generation was my age. It’s boring!” says 17-year-old Iranian pop fan Sadiha Hababi. “It’s about time something fundamentally changed in the way Irani politicians record and release music videos.”
When reached for comment, the Ayatollah’s Revolutionary Guard Records said that they wish Rouhani’s album a prosperous release. They added that Iran should look out for their label’s newest signee, Nada, a 14-year-old girl who is neither allowed to sing, be seen, nor be heard.
Above: The only photo ever taken of future Iranian pop princess Nada
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