Mahsa Vahdat is a strong advocate of freedom of expression. Her stunning voice has caught international attention but remains unheard to Iranians. After Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, severe restrictions were imposed on artists and as a consequence, several famous musicians and vocalists left the country. Female singers who stayed behind had to make written promises not to sing in public. Music schools were closed for a decade, and musicians were forbidden employment in the public sector. There were law enforcement crackdowns on private musical gatherings.
Today in Iran, women can practice various musical forms but they cannot sing in public for mixed audiences. They can participate in for-women-only concerts, some of which the Ministry of Culture organises annually. Women can also sing in the company of a male singer or as part of a choir. Mahsa Vahdat refuses to perform for women only. Thus her concerts are held outside Iran.
Born in Tehran in 1973, Mahsa Vahdat entered the Art University in Tehran in 1993 and graduated from the Music Faculty with a BA in Music. She has released several albums and took part in the 2004 thought-provoking musical statement “Lullabies from the Axis of Evil.” Freemuse Award Winner 2010.
Music by: Atabak Elyasi
Melody by: Mahsa Vahdat and Atabak Elyasi
Lyrics by: Atabak Elyasi and Layegh Shir Ali
Licensed from: Kirkelig Kulturverksted