In moments of overwhelming political instability come little glimpses of beautiful creative expression, showing themselves just between the cracks of the doors as the entire house comes crumbling down. The people drowning in the turmoil of the nation turn to the ingenious artists in their community to help lift them out — voicing their cries for help and amplifying them so they can be heard all the way around the world.
Iranian-Dutch singer Sevdaliza is the latest to pick up the torch of that universal truth, unleashing her frustration on “Woman Life Freedom” and showing her solidarity with the women of Iran who have been fighting for their lives in the revolution against the nation’s regime following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
The song opens up with a haunting a capella verse, with two isolated voices lingering in an empty abyss, singing, “I was told to stay quiet in a world full of noise/ I was told to walk silent in a war of wicked marches/ In this world, I remain lost for answers.”
The melancholic atmosphere morphs and contorts around her voice before she’s consoled by the full instrumentation as it fully settles into the track, with a heartbreaking violin melody playing itself away in the background.
There’s a hope that shines slightly just beneath the surface of the track, with the violin bleeding into passionate piano chords that are equal parts uplifting and sorrowful. Sevdaliza then moves into the backseat, letting the piano grow and bloom before it’s joined by Iranian author and film director Marjane Satrapi, whose powerful CNN interview is sampled on the track, talking about the cultural shift being led by the youth of Iran, saying, “What they say to me is that they don’t want this system anymore. They want democracy! They don’t believe in the reform and they’re right! Iran’s government is a dictatorship!”
Sevdaliza shared this powerful moment with PAPER, telling us, “A woman without freedom is like a flower without soil. With freedom, she blooms. Without it, she withers.”
Photo courtesy of Tre Koch
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