Kulturnytt (English) - The Singer and Songwriter from Iran
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Niusha Almassian left Iran with his family when he was only three years old, during the war in the 1980s between Iran and Iraq. He is now comfortably settled in Oslo, where he is working on the eight songs of an album which he will release in the autumn.
Niusha says of his music, “I try to capture a moment of hope. The songs amplify the voice of love as people stand up to bullying, oppression, hate and war.”
He writes for people who have struggled in their lives. Because they may have been born in one country, and now live in another, they ask, “Who am I?”
His listeners are not closed, secure in their native culture, but instead are open to new ways of thinking. They are “vulnerable enough to let themselves be touched” by other cultures, other viewpoints, other dreams. His music helps them as they are “gathering and believing fearlessly in a new day.”
Playing a guitar as he sings, Niusha uses a mix of languages in his lyrics. The primary language is English, with words from other languages woven in. The general form of his songs reflects music which is recognizable on the radio; however, his back-up singers add their own native style, sounds, and vocabulary, so that the music ultimately becomes an international song. Everyone’s song.
Let’s visit a few of those lyrics.
“Kids are crying through my eyes. Slavery and bombs they see, chaos and misery. The rain it bleeds their pain on me. I wake up with poetry.”
“I am every teardrop. I am every soul.”
“Realize you are your own internal fire. Speak up with your heart.”
“Together for every soul, we can be the changing force.”
“Why are people dying and why is there war?”
“At last the truth will sing.”
Niusha’s music is enormously heartening. During the late 1960s, when I was a university student in California, the air pulsed with powerful music that protested against the war in Vietnam, against racism, against poisoning the Earth. Then, for decades, the voice of protest all but vanished, with the lone exception of rap. Niusha’s music, filled with compassion, rich with global solidarity, outraged at war, now fills that decades-long silence with a new and powerful voice.
This article was was written and illustrated by the American-Norwegian writer John Slade - for Kulturmagasinet Fremmed.
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