A Panel Discussion with the Iranian Underground Rock Band
November 2, 2007
The Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Brandeis University and
Center for Middle East Studies, Harvard University
Moderator: Dr. Naghmeh Sohrabi, Assistant Director for Research
Arash Sobhani, Lead singer and lyricist of Kiosk
Babak Khiavchi, Prominent underground music producer and Kiosk band member
Kiosk is a Persian Blues/Rock/Jazz band established by a group of friends some years ago in a basement in Isfahan and Tehran. The band’s first album “Adame Mamooli” (Ordinary Person) came out of the band’s jam sessions in Iran, and was lauded as one of the first successful albums of Iran’s burgeoning underground music scene, which served as an alternative not only to the Iranian state-sanctioned music but also the popular (both inside Iran and among the Iranian diaspora) “6/8” beat that has dominated the Iranian pop music scene.
Over the past several years, the original band members, including the lyricist and lead singer, Arash Sobhani,” left Iran for North America and their second album “Esgh-e Sorat” or Amor de la velocidad which was released in May 2007 was conceived of and recorded in the United States. What distinguishes “Kiosk” is their biting lyrics set to a musical style that is new to Iranian pop music, whether as social commentary such as in the song “My Bad” off the first album or the popular song and video (which has passed a quarter million hits on You Tube) “Love of Speed” off the second album.
For more information on the band, please see http://www.kiosktheband.com/Kiosk_official_website/Home.html.