Struggle as a metaphor is something every human can relate to. One of the most prolific and challenging forms of struggle in the world today is the plight of ethnic and religious minorities, which is the topic of Niyaz’s third album, Sumud (pronounced soomood) forthcoming on Six Degrees Records. Translating from Arabic as ‘steadfastness,’ lead singer Azam Ali chose this philosophical term as a symbolic reminder that, as she explains, ‘every human being should inherit the right to live with dignity and freedom upon the land on which they are born.’
Niyaz, which means ‘yearning’ in Persian and Urdu, was formed in 2005 by Ali, multi-instrumentalist Loga Ramin Torkian and two-time Grammy nominated producer and electronic musician Carmen Rizzo. The band borrows from an historic lineage of Middle Eastern poets setting verse to music, perhaps most famously known today through the work of the 13th century Persian poet Rumi and the endless barrage of quotes attributed to him on Twitter and Facebook. While the immediate goal of Niyaz was to explore the music and identity of Iranians living in exile and struggling to maintain their cultural identity in the modern world on their first two acclaimed records, Niyaz and Nine Heavens, the band has expanded that theme with Sumud.
released 22 May 2012
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