|Africa/Middle East: Features||
The Young Iran - Rock, Pop and Girl Bands Go East
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Iran is the subject of much political news everyday. But what really concerns young people there, has no relation to what has been said about Iran recently. Controversy rages but it does so outside the sphere of politics. Persian teenagers are doing their best to enjoy their lives; however possible. Within the largely young population, there are many who have been fully involved in music all their lives. Performers, composers, producers and fans over there, are working hard to express themselves and their art.
Teenagers and young people do not feel hopeless or upset. They have their own pop, their own rock, their own classical music in addition to traditional Persian music
After restrictions began to be lifted nearly a decade ago, musicians inside Iran started to have their own businesses, live appearances and competitions. In a very short time, the music market in Iran grew rapidly. Ibanez, Marshall, Roland and many other big companies opened their own shops in major cities. Bands were born again and producers started making extraordinary amounts of money. At first there were only few places named “Farhang-Sara” (the house of culture) which allowed bands to hold concerts.
They started with low-tempo tunes, undistorted guitars, well-behaved performers and, obviously, fully male bands. In less than two or three years, girls were playing as well as singing in big concerts. Vocalists were practically shouting and tempting people to shout back. Performing in front of large amounts of audience was not abnormal anymore.
Apart from the well-supported pop scene, rockers gradually came to the picture. In many neighborhoods, basements filled with youngsters making sounds and noises that were disturbing their parents. Persian underground music developed unbelievably. It did not take too long for these underground fellows to appear on-stage. In the beginning, they also faced some difficulties but time passed and problems got resolved.
Despite of all these happenings, some omissions still exist. Few major music stores (CD and DVD providers) work in Tehran, and they do not usually promote things that are made outside Iran. The most-found overseas product is classical instrumental music. Not many bands go from the West to perform there.
But the market of musical instruments is noticeably huge. It might raise the question of where all this gear goes. Young people over there are working tirelessly to keep themselves up-to-date and on-form. They have to compete with other musicians around them. Thanks to the era of technology, MP3s rule there. In Tehran, it was much easier for me to get the music I was searching for. There, everything exists and everything could be brought to you if you just call your friend for a CD. Although it is fake, it does the job!
There are some complicated issues surrounding the things that youths always want to do. There are things that are against rules and regulations. But using negotiations, tricks and the special abilities that Iranians always utilize, a solution always pops-up.
Teenagers and young people do not feel hopeless or upset. They have their own pop, their own rock, their own classical music in addition to traditional Persian music, which is treated as a very rich and deep unique sort of art. People there, have a long way to go. It makes them try hard with the goal of achieving what they believe they deserve.
The author was a rock drummer in Iran and is currently studying music production in Malaysia. firstname.lastname@example.org
Image courtesy of o-hum.com
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