An exclusive interview with Soroosh Ghahramanloo, a musician from Iran.

Soroosh Ghahramanloo is an independent Iranian singer and songwriter and a member of the band named “Nioosh”. we talked with him about the music industry in Iran and his own professional life after the pandemic.


Soroosh is an expert in playing some of the Iranian instruments such as Setar, Electric Setar (his own invented instrument), Tar, and Dotar.

Soroosh has collaborated with the Zolfonoon group, The City’s Song (Belgian band) in the "Tehran Sessions" Project.

He has released 5 albums as a singer and music performer and also wrote a book about music.

Nioosh-Band is an Iranian music band founded in 2009. They select the poems of great Iranian poets and sing them in their own way of compiled music which is a compilation of rock, progressive rock, hard rock, and traditional Iranian music. On the matter of soundtracks and the music, they have adapted and used the help of great musicians nationally and internationally. The members have all studied music and have been the students of great Iranian musicians.

Members of the Nioosh Band are:

Arash Ghahremanloo,

Soroosh Ghahremanloo,

Kaykavus Mokhtari.


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Did you have to cancel any of your performances or new releases because of the Coronavirus?

No, we didn't have any concerts or releases planned for this period.

What was the effect of the pandemic on your income?

Independent music bands don't have much income in Iran whether before or after covid19.

Did the pandemic and new situation have an effect on your lifestyle?

No, it didn't have any effect, we still go to the studio at midnight as usual because all the members are music teachers (we don't earn much from our concerts) and they teach through the day so we go to the studio at midnight and in the pandemic we still do the same.

Having concerts in Iran costs a lot and needs the authority’s permission, therefore it does not worth the trouble due to its small amount of income. We have to take the authority’s permission for each of our concerts and if we don't face any problem it takes about a month at least to do that.

There are a few old concert halls and venues and they don't have good sound quality, and also it is not possible to hold an outdoor performance.

Do you think this situation affects your creativity?

Yes indeed, we have more time to work on many ideas about different styles and practice on them in the studio.

If the virus ends today, will you go back to your routine precisely as before?

Yes, we will go back to our routine:

Teaching

Working

Night rehearsals

Making plans for small performances

And being ready to record some tracks.

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What is your opinion about the effects of the pandemic on the music and art industry in the future?

In my opinion, by the fast-developing speed and quality of the internet in the future, we will face online performances and different concerts while the audiences feel themselves in the middle of a real concert hall.

I think in the future the way of music production and its style will change because the taste of the music of the audiences will be totally different.

Did your government or any other organization in your country, support you or other artists around you against the pandemic?

No.

As an artist, did you get any support from society?

Basically, society is the consumer of the artist’s production.

Now they need us to provide our productions free, although in Iran people download freely and without prosection so it doesn't make any difference.

So the best support of society is respecting copyright whether before or after Coronavirus.

As an artist, did you support your community through the pandemic?

Yes, I make a music video (named the city's song of Tehran) with accompany of Belgian musicians to support refugees that they have many problems after covid19 in the camps, in this video Nioosh band members accompany us by their video.

In your opinion how can artists help people through pandemic time?

By producing the cultural products for people so that they can bear the hard time of quarantine and loneliness and other situations that happened because of Coronavirus.

If you could save only one artist from the Coronavirus, who would that be?

I never see the musicians better than others.

I just try to help old people as much as I can because they are not in a good situation in these times.

If you knew about the 2020's pandemic from a year ago, what would you do differently?

My plans have changed; maybe I would do some of my plans sooner or some of them later.

For example, if I knew about this epidemic I would have tried to release my new album before because in this period people try to fill their time with different productions.

You can have just one of your wishes come true, what will you wish for?

I wish a day to see real artists as superstars.

What to listen to in times of Corona

Discography of Soroosh Ghahramanloo,


Music Albums:

Khateram dar Atash Ast

Sime Akhar

Dar in Khane Begardid

Khordehaye Tariki

Kine

Nioosh (Khaham Goft)

Book:

Gole Sad Barg

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