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Abjeez - New York Times.jpg
Background information
GenresReggae, Pop rock, Persian pop music, Ska, flamenco, soul
Years active2005–present
LabelsCD Baby
  • Safoura Safavi
  • Melody Safavi

Abjeez[1] (Persian: آبجیز‎) is a multilingual Persian Swedish fusion, world pop, alternative music band founded by Iranian-born sisters Melody Safavi and Safoura Safavi in 2005.[2]


ABJEEZ (slang for "sisters" in Persian) was initially formed in Östersund, Sweden[3] and expanded in Stockholm, Sweden with older sister, Melody, writing lyrics in Persian and Safoura composing the music.[4] In Stockholm, the Safavi sisters found backing musicians from Sweden, Norway, Scotland and Chile.[3][5][6]

Their lyrics often carry humorous and subversive cultural and political messages. Their genre of music has been described as a blend of Iranian soul rhythms with reggae, rock, ska, and flamenco. They sing mostly in their native Persian, with a few exceptions in Swedish, Spanish, and English.[3][5]

After a few years[when?] of touring in Europe, Canada, and the United States, the band went on hiatus as Safoura pursued her studies in performance art and sound design at Stockholm University of the Arts. Abjeez released their third album "Paa Sho" (Stand Up) in 2017. It was recorded in Costa Rica and Stockholm in 2016.

Critical acclaim[edit]

Critics have described Abjeez as the first female-led Persian-speaking Reggae/Ska band and pioneers[7] for singing about taboo subjects in Persian language, Iranian culture, and even American foreign policy and the war on terror.[8] Abjeez were subjects of a 2009 documentary film titled "Systrar (Sisters)" by Swedish film-maker Henrik Perälä.[9]

The most consistent subject matters voiced in Abjeez music are issues related to gender, women's rights and youth in Iran.[4][10]

Their debut music video Eddeaa (meaning "Pretension" in English) was nominated in the short film category at Tribeca Film Festival in New York City in 2007. It was also selected as the best music video of the year at Link TV's world music channel in 2007. The band has performed in various music and film festivals such as the Rotterdam Film Festival in the Netherlands.[11]

Abjeez have been described by various commentators as one of the most successful Iranian music groups of the 2000s, performing at sold-out concerts across Europe and North America, including at the legendary Roxy Theater[12] in Los Angeles, California in December 2010.[3][4][5][6][10]

Band members[edit]


  • Safoura Safavi – composer, lead singer and guitar
  • Melody Safavi – songwriter, back and harmony vocals


  • Erland Hofgaard - Bass
  • Robin Cochrane - Drums
  • Johan Moberg - Guitar
  • Sufi Safavi - Sound
  • Paulo Murga - Percussion
  • Nicolas Lazo Zubieta - Percussion / Saxophone


  • Hameh (2007)
  • Who's Yo Daddy (2007)
  • Perfectly Displaced (2009)
  • Paa Sho! (2017)


  1. ^ "گذشته و آینده گروه آبجیز در گفتگو با صفورا صفوی". BBC Persian. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  2. ^ "The Story of Abjeez". Retrieved December 14, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d "Abjeez – med rötterna i Norrland och Iran". Sveriges Radio. May 9, 2012. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Mctighe, Kristen (February 8, 2012). "Sister Act From Iran Promotes Pop Music in Era of Repression". The New York Times. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c "Iranian Band Abjeez Says Supreme Leader's Dismissal Of Music 'Ridiculous'". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Abjeez - Systrar som Frontar". Reorient.se. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
  7. ^ "Systrar som sjunger för frihet". Östersunds-Posten. June 1, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  8. ^ "Voice of America Subcontractor Fired for Iraq War Protest Video: Self-Inflicted Damage Post-9/11". Daily Kos. September 11, 2009. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
  9. ^ "Systrar som sjunger för frihet". Länstidningen. May 6, 2009. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Abjeez – med rötterna i Norrland och Iran". Östersunds-Posten. April 1, 2009. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
  11. ^ "Abjeez Eddeaa Music Video". Retrieved December 14, 2013.
  12. ^ "Abjeez at The Roxy Part 1". Vimeo. 2010. Retrieved December 14, 2013.

External links[edit]