Shahin Najafi

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Shahin Najafi
شاهین نجفی
Shahin Najafi 03.JPG
Background information
Born (1980-09-10) 10 September 1980 (age 34)
Bandar-e Anzali, Gilan, Iran
Origin Bandar-e Anzali, Gilan, Iran
Genres Iranian hip hop, political hip hop, alternative hip hop, Iranian rock
Occupation(s) Musician, singer, rapper, songwriter
Instruments Singing, rapping, guitar
Years active 2000–present
Labels Tapesh 2012 (2006–2008), Pamas-Verlag (2008–2009), Sharr Music (2010–present)
Associated acts Antikarisma, Tapesh 2012, Rapknot, Ghoghal, Ziba Shirazi, Ahmad Batebi
Website www.shahinnajafimusic.com

Shahin Najafi (Persian: شاهین نجفی) (born in 1980 in Bandar-e Anzali, Gilan, Iran) is an Iranian musician, singer, rapper, songwriter [1] currently residing in Germany. He began his music career in Iran before immigrating to Germany in 2005. He has been referred to as being one of the forefronters in the Iran's modern hip hop scene by several experts and critics.

Najafi's songs mostly deal with issues such as theocracy, poverty, sexism, censorship, child labor, execution, drug addiction and homophobia. He strives to use poetic, literary, philosophical and political elements in his music.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Shahin Najafi was born in 1980. in Bandar-e Anzali, Iran. When he was six years old his father died and later his brother became a drug addict and also died.[4] He began writing poetry as a teenager and began learning the guitar in the classical and flamenco styles at the age of eighteen. He then became an underground artist in Iran, performing in both rock and Spanish music styles, working with various bands.[2]

He studied sociology at the University of Gilan and openly expressed his opinions about the university, leading to him getting expelled.[5]

Music career[edit]

Immigration to Germany[edit]

He was head of an underground music band in Iran before his immigration to Germany but he was banned for his offenses towards the Islamic faith in Iran by the Iranian government after his second music show.[5] He was also the head of «Inan» music band in Germany. Then he joined to «Tapesh 2012» music band.[6] «Tapesh 2012» were welcomed by Persian broadcasters and the international media by political and social songs and poems of shahin najafi.[7]

An article published in No. 19194 of conservative newspaper Kayhan on 29 September 2008, criticized the Tapesh 2012's activities. Kayhan published the article with the title of Establishing democracy with drum & circle. A part of it is as follows:

Release of first studio album[edit]

On 1 May 2008 (coincided with May Day), Shahin Najafi released his first studio album, Ma mard nistim (We Are Not Men), with partnership and composition of Tapesh 2012 music band. This album was his official and professional beginning in Persian hip hop music. The album attracted the audience and listener more than any album before it was released in Persian hip hop style.[9]

Separation from Tapesh 2012[edit]

Shahin Najafi ended cooperation with the Tapesh 2012 music band from the beginning of 2009. Variety of reasons has been proposed related to his separation from this group. The main reason is releasing "Around us" single song in Voice of America TV without permission. The supervisor of «Tapesh 2012» later apologised to Shahin Najafi and stated: the song has been inadvertently released in Voice of America TV. Shahin Najafi accepted the apology.[10]

Reaction to the 2009 Iranian presidential election[edit]

After the Iranian election protests, Shahin Najafi released a single named Neda in July 2009 dedicated to Neda Agha-Soltan, an activist killed during the protests.[10] He released his second studio album titled Tavahhom (Illusion) on 19 September 2009 by German-Iranian publishing house "Pamas-Verlag". In this album, several songs are about the intense protests against the Iranian government and the political oppression that occurred after the presidential election.[11][12] Can be cited to "Vaghti khoda khabe (When God is sleeping)" through these songs. The song's lyrics protest the 2009 Iran poll protests trial, militia violence, the use of torture on prisoners and the Supreme Leader of Iran. Part of the song deals vividly with the rape of Taraneh Mousavi.[13]

Formation of Antikarisma music band[edit]

He formed a new rock band as Antikarisma band in January 2010. The new band, Antikarisma, consists of Shahin Najafi, Babak Khazaei, Armin Mostaed, and Pejman Afshari who live in Germany. The new band is another demonstration of Najafi's continuous innovation in music.[14][14]

Fatwas and death threats[edit]

Following release of the song "Ay Naghi!" ("Hey, Naghi!"),[15][16] Grand Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi Golpaygani, a 94-year-old Shi’ite cleric based in Qom, issued a fatwa death sentence against Najafi for apostasy.[17] Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem-Shirazi, a "sources of emulation" for many Shia Muslims, also issued a fatwa declaring Najafi guilty of apostasy.[18] As of 15 May 2012, more than 800 people in Iran had joined a Facebook campaign calling for Najafi to be executed, saying they were ready to assassinate Najafi if necessary.[19] An Iranian web site, Shia-Online.ir, offered a US$100,000 bounty to anyone who killed Najafi.[20]

In May 2012, the online site HonareNab.ir posted an online "Shoot the Apostates" flash computer game inviting people to shoot and kill Najafi.[21] “Those who love Imam Hadi can practice killing Shahin Najafi by playing this flash game,” said Honar Nab Eslam, who developed the game.[22]

On 25 May 2012, Shiite cleric Ahmad Alamolhoda demanded a plan to execute Najafi.[23]

In June 2012, forty authors of the Rah-e Nikan religious publishing house promised to give royalties from their books to whoever killed Najafi.[24]

The song has drawn sharp anger from protesters who believe it is offensive towards Imam Naghi, the tenth Imam in Shi’ite Islam.[25] In an interview[26] Najafi stated that he was inspired by "The Campaign to Remind Shiites about Imam Naghi" to compose the song. The campaign is a Facebook page that pokes fun at Islamic, and specifically Shi'ite hadiths, with members creating fake, funny hadiths and stories centered around a fictional character named Naghi, who is based on Imam Naghi.[27]

United States tour (2012)[edit]

Najafi started a United States tour in 2012, starting with a talk on 30 September, and later a concert on 16 November at University of California, Berkeley, events sponsored by Iranian Student Alliance in America. He continued the tour in UC San Diego on 18 November.

Political and social activities[edit]

In addition to individual work in his concerts and campaign songs, Shahin Najafi had many performance on various political and social occasions. In October 2008, he had a music show on "Peace Conference" in Germany.[28] In August 2009, with some poets and writers in shows of ""Night of solidarity with the liberal struggle"" Najafi had a protest hip hop show in Stockholm, Sweden.[29] In December 2009, coincided with "Student Day" in Iran, Najafi with Ziba Shirazi had a protest music show in Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.[30]

Discography[edit]

  • 2008 - Ma mard nistin
  • 2009 - Tavahhom
  • 2010 - Saale khoon
  • 2012 - Hich Hich Hich
  • 2013 - Tramadol
  • 2014 - 1414

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Shahin Najafi in Interpretation of news program (Voice of America)". International public broadcaster. Voice of America. 
  2. ^ a b "Interview with Shahin Najafi". MANIHA website. 
  3. ^ "Interview with Shahin Najafi and more information about illusion album". Deutsche Welle. 
  4. ^ "My past". Shahin Najafi. 
  5. ^ a b "Interview with Shahin Najafi". Broadcaster. BBC. 
  6. ^ "Protest of music to the patriarchal society of Iran". RFE/RL. Radio Farda. 
  7. ^ "Music Festival Bochum Total and presence and performance of "Tapesh 2012" music band". Deutsche Welle. 
  8. ^ "Establishing democracy with drum & circle: "Tapesh 2012"". Daily newspaper. Kayhan. 
  9. ^ "The success of "We Are Not Men"". International public broadcaster. Deutsche Welle. 
  10. ^ a b "Separation from Tapesh 2012". Shahin Najafi. 
  11. ^ "more about Illusion". Shahin Najafi. 
  12. ^ "more about Illusion(2)". Shahin Najafi. 
  13. ^ "more about Illusion: When God is sleeping from Illusion". Shahin Najafi. 
  14. ^ a b "Shahin najafi and Antikarisma band". Zir Zamin-Iranian alternative music magazine. Ferri Tafreshi. 10 February 2010. Retrieved 10 February 2010. 
  15. ^ Shahin Najafi & Majid Kazemi - "Naghi," with English translation on YouTube
  16. ^ ""Ay Naghi" from Shahin Nafaji (Video and Lyrics)". 
  17. ^ Bozorgmehr Sharafedin (15 May 2012). "Iranian rapper faces death threats for 'insulting' song". BBC. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
    *"Cleric calls for death sentence against 'apostate' Iranian rapper". International Herald Tribune. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
    *Thomas Erdbrink (14 May 2012). "Rapper Faces Death Threats in Iran Over Song". New York Times. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
    *Farnaz Fassihi (16 May 2012). "Iranian Rapper Fears for His Life After Fatwa". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
    *Tony Paterson (17 May 2012). "'Blasphemous' rapper Shahin Najafi goes into hiding after Iran's hardline clerics put a $100,000 bounty on his head". The Independent. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
    *Carter Maness (17 May 2012). "Iranian Rapper Shahin Najafi Faces $100K Bounty, Death Threats Over Song". MTV News. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  18. ^ Bozorgmehr Sharafedin (15 May 2012). "Iranian rapper faces death threats for 'insulting' song". BBC. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
    *Robin Pomeroy (14 May 2012). "Iranian rapper draws Shi'ite wrath, death bounty". Reuters. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
    *Saeed Kamali Dehghan (14 May 2012). "Iranian rapper faces death threats and fatwa for 'blasphemous' song". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  19. ^ Bozorgmehr Sharafedin (15 May 2012). "Iranian rapper faces death threats for 'insulting' song". BBC. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  20. ^ Bozorgmehr Sharafedin (15 May 2012). "Iranian rapper faces death threats for 'insulting' song". BBC. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
    *"Cleric calls for death sentence against 'apostate' Iranian rapper". International Herald Tribune. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
    *Thomas Erdbrink (14 May 2012). "Rapper Faces Death Threats in Iran Over Song". New York Times. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
    *Farnaz Fassihi (16 May 2012). "Iranian Rapper Fears for His Life After Fatwa". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
    *Tony Paterson (17 May 2012). "'Blasphemous' rapper Shahin Najafi goes into hiding after Iran's hardline clerics put a $100,000 bounty on his head". The Independent. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
    *Carter Maness (17 May 2012). "Iranian Rapper Shahin Najafi Faces $100K Bounty, Death Threats Over Song". MTV News. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  21. ^ "Shoot the Apostates". Art Institute of Islamic Purity. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
    *"Play "Shoot the Apostate"". Fars News Agency. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
    *"Computer game for killing the rapper Shahin Najafi produced in Iran". Lenz Iran. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
    *Online Video Game to Kill Iranian Rapper Shahin Najafi on YouTube
  22. ^ Samia Zahid. ""Target The Mortad", Iran Develops a Game Against Shahin Najafi". Kabir News. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  23. ^ "Alamolhoda demands a plan for the execution of Shahin Najafi". peykeiran.com. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  24. ^ "اطلاعیه نویسندگان نشر راه نیکان در عرض ادب به حکم ارتداد مراجع عظام تقلید (دام ظلهم) پیرامون جسارت به مقدسات اعتقادی مسلمین، خاصه شیعیان جهان". Rah-e-Nikan. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
    *Samia Zahid (5 June 2012). "Iran Announces New Prizes For The Killer of Shahin Najafi". Kabir News. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
    *Scott Lucas (5 June 2012). "Iran Music Feature: Rapper Shahin Najafi Responds to Death Threats...With a New Song". EA World View. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  25. ^ "Cleric calls for death sentence against 'apostate' Iranian rapper". International Herald Tribune. 
  26. ^ "Shahin Najafi: Only the weak appeal to insults". Radio Farda. 
  27. ^ "کمپین یادآوری امام نقی به شیعیان". 
  28. ^ ""Peace Conference" in Essen, Germany and Shahin Najafi's show". Shahin Najafi. shahin-najafi. 18 July 2009. Retrieved 15 August 2009. 
  29. ^ "Night of solidarity with the liberal struggle". Shahin Najafi. shahin-najafi. 18 July 2009. Retrieved 15 August 2009. 
  30. ^ "Ceremony of Student Day in Georgetown University". Shahin Najafi. shahin-najafi. 18 July 2009. Retrieved 15 August 2009. 

External links[edit]