Kiosk (band)

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Kiosk (band).jpg
Background information
OriginTehran, Iran
Years active2003–present
  • Global Zoo
  • 9821
  • Bamahang
Associated actsMohsen Namjoo Tara Kamangar
MembersArash Sobhani
Ali Kamali
Shahrouz Molaei

Kiosk (Persian: کیوسک‎) is a rock band formed in Tehran in 2003, known for its blend of musical styles and its wry lyrics confronting Iranian cultural angst.[1]


Kiosk is a pioneering Iranian rock band (The Berlin Daily Newspaper)[2] founded by Arash Sobhani in Tehran in 2003. After censorship and restriction by Iranian authorities, its musicians immigrated to the U.S. and Canada.[3] The band has since toured throughout the world[4][5] and released seven albums.[6][7] Kiosk is known for its satirical lyrics, which provide a socio-political commentary of life in Iran, as well as its blend of several music styles, from Iranian folk to gypsy jazz to rock.[8] Kiosk's music has been described by BBC World as "songs that speak to a generation...Kiosk's stinging political satire is hidden within its blues and folksy sound."[9] Haaretz has referred to Kiosk as the most popular Iranian rock band in the Iranian diaspora,[10] while Ahram Online describes how the band gives a voice to their generation.[11] Kiosk's live album "Triple Distilled," recorded at Yoshi's Jazz Club, was chosen by presenter Mark Coles from BBC World's "World of Music" as one of the ten best world music albums of the year, alongside such artists as Paolo Conte and Ali Farka Touré.[12] TIME Magazine has called Kiosk "a band that can criticize the Iranian government without retribution,"[13] while Frontline PBS has praised their "eclectic sound that incorporates a multitude of instruments and styles." The Guardian and Radio Free Europe have reported on Kiosk's popularity amongst young Iranians.[14][15] Frontman Arash Sobhani's lyrics have been referenced by The New York Times[16] and referred to by the Frankfurt General Newspaper as "a guiding light for many,” [17] while Frontline PBS refers to Sobhani's “poignantly powerful lyrics...and smooth, melodic tone that belies the fire and rage of one of Iran's most prolific contemporary social critics."[18] As Aslan Media, founded by Reza Aslan, writes: "Kiosk offers an honest opportunity for self-reflection in a society that has nearly seventy-percent of its population under the age of thirty. For younger generations of the diaspora who have yet to visit their parents’ homeland, Kiosk delivers unpretentious music that speaks of a society caught between East and West, trapped between past and present, leaving no direction to look but within."[19]

Current Kiosk members include Ali Kamali (bass, recording engineer), Arash Sobhani (lyricist and songwriter, frontman) and Mohammad Talani (rhythm guitar).[20][21]

The name of the band, Kiosk, stems from the original formation of the group in Tehran, when its members gathered together in any possible makeshift space or “Kiosk” to play their music without fear of arrest.[22]

Television, Film, and Other Media[edit]

Kiosk tracks have been used in the following films, television programs, and other media:

Notable Performances[edit]

  • Kiosk has toured extensively throughout countries including the US, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Lebanon, and Australia.[38]
  • In their current base of San Francisco, Kiosk has performed at the Palace of Fine Arts[39] and Yoshi's Jazz Club (the latter broadcast as a critically acclaimed live recording).[40]
  • Kiosk performed through Riksteatern at the annual Eldfesten Festival in Stockholm for an audience of around twenty thousand.[41]
  • Kiosk performed at New Morning in Paris, France, filmed by Mezzo TV [42]
  • Kiosk performed in the opening of the acclaimed exhibition Iran Modern along with Mohsen Namjoo[43][44]
  • Kiosk has performed or guest-lectured in several American universities, including Harvard,[45] Stanford,[46] Brown,[47] Columbia,[48] and the University of California.[49][50]



  • 2005: Adam e Mamooli (Ordinary Man)
  • 2007: Eshgh e Sorat (Amor De La Velocidad)
  • 2008: Bagh e Vahsh e Jahaani (Global Zoo)
  • 2010: Seh Taghtireh (Triple Distilled: Live at Yoshi's)
  • 2011: Natijeh e Mozakerat (Outcome of Negotiations)
  • 2013: Tashkilat e Movazi (Parallel Establishments)
  • 2014: Zang Bezan Azhans (Call a Cab)
  • 2015: Vaziat e Narengi ( Condition Orange)
  • 2016: Stereo Tull Taghdim Mikonad ( Stereo Tull Presents)


  • 2008: "Yarom Bia" featuring Mohsen Namjoo
  • 2009: "Morgh e Sahar" ("Bird of Dawn") featuring Mohsen Namjoo
  • 2009: "Dasht e Sabz" ("Green Field")
  • 2009: "Nameh Be Sardar" ("Letter to the Sardar")
  • 2009: "Jurassic Park Coalition"
  • 2014: "Strange Days" - JJ Cale cover
  • 2018: "To Ro Mikham" ("I Want You")


  1. ^ "Rock Band Kiosk Confronts Iranian Cultural Angst". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  2. ^ Kiosk on
  3. ^ Iran's underground pop gypsies
  4. ^ Kiosk Official Tour Schedule
  5. ^ Kiosk Tour Schedule on
  6. ^ Kiosk on
  7. ^ Kiosk profile on iTunes
  8. ^ Jecks, Nikki (2009-02-27). "Iran's underground pop gypsies". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  9. ^ Striking a Chord: songs that speak to a generation, country or culture
  10. ^ "Beyond centrifuges and ayatollahs: Dive in to the Iranian music scene". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  11. ^ "Iranian band Kiosk give voice to their generation". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  12. ^ BBC World Of Music Podcast - Contemporary and classical tracks from around the world with Mark Coles
  13. ^ "Graffiti, Hip-Hop, Sk8s: Tehran's Young Rebels Battle the Crackdown". 2009-08-07. Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  14. ^ "Natijeh e Mozakerat (Outcome of Negotiations)". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  15. ^ "Episode 4: Backstage In Berlin With Kiosk". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  16. ^ Fathi, Nazila (2010-06-05). "Music Stirs the Embers of Protest in Iran". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  17. ^ "Gitarretragen ist nicht verboten". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  18. ^ "Video - Kiosk: 'Hey Man, Pull Over'". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  19. ^ "Rock Band Kiosk Confronts Iranian Cultural Angst". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  20. ^ Concert Review: Kiosk Leads Iranian Invasion of Drom (NY)
  21. ^ Official Kiosk website - About Kiosk
  22. ^ "Rock Band Kiosk Confronts Iranian Cultural Angst". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  23. ^ "Kiosk: A Generation Destroyed by Madness". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  24. ^ "Kiosk: A Generation Destroyed by Madness". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  25. ^ "The singer is Arash Sobhani, of the great Iranian rock band Kiosk". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  26. ^ "Meet the Woman Behind the Year's Best Iranian Vampire Western". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  27. ^ Lodge, Guy (2014-01-24). "Sundance Film Review: 'A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  28. ^ "Sundance Next Fest: Are You Ready for An Iranian Vampire Western?". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  29. ^ "Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  30. ^ "JIMMY VESTVOOD: AMERIKAN HERO (extended trailer)". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  31. ^ "The Music of the Children of Revolution". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  32. ^ "'The Persian Square' book notes". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  33. ^ Wright, Robin (2011-08-01). "'Rock the Casbah'". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  34. ^ "Middle East Profiles Series - Interview with Iran's Arash Sobhani of Kiosk - Part 1". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  35. ^ "Underground Iranian Band Steps Out Of The Shadows". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  36. ^ "The Strand - Thursday". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  37. ^ "Iranian Music Icon Headlines VOA Nowruz TV Special". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  38. ^ Kiosk Official Tour Schedule
  39. ^ "Palace of Fine Arts hosts Persian Winter "Solh" Fest". Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  40. ^ BBC World Of Music Podcast - Contemporary and classical tracks from around the world with Mark Coles
  41. ^ "Eldfesten / Chaharshanbe Suri 2013". Retrieved 2015-02-08.
  42. ^ YouTube - ”Yarom Bia" KIOSK (featuring Mohsen Namjoo) in Paris (25 march, 2013) at New Morning
  43. ^ Iran Modern
  44. ^ In Concert: Kiosk with Mohsen Namjoo
  45. ^ "Politics and Art in the Mideast: KIOSK Panel Discussion and Concert". Archived from the original on 2015-02-08. Retrieved 2015-02-08.
  46. ^ A New Cultural Renaissance in Iran? A Panel discussion & a performance by Kiosk
  47. ^ ""Underground Iran" A Musical Festival with Namjoo and Kiosk". Archived from the original on 2015-02-08. Retrieved 2015-02-08.
  48. ^ A Conversation with Iranian Rock Band Kiosk
  49. ^ Iranian Rock: Voice of a Generation
  50. ^ "Iran’s Underground Music"; a talk by Arash Sobhani

External links[edit]