Rostam Batmanglij

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Rostam Batmanglij
Flickr - moses namkung - Vampire Weekend-3 CROPPED.png
Background information
Birth name Rostam Batmanglij
Born (1983-11-28) November 28, 1983 (age 32)
Origin Washington, D.C., United States
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, record producer
Instruments piano, keyboards, organ, vocals, guitars, programming, flute, banjo, percussion
Labels XL
Associated acts Vampire Weekend, Discovery, Charli XCX, Carly Rae Jepsen, Boys Like Us

Rostam Batmanglij (born November 28, 1983)[1] is an American songwriter, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist formerly of New York City-based indie rock band Vampire Weekend and electro-soul group Discovery.

Early life[edit]

Batmanglij grew up in Washington, D.C., the youngest son of Iranian immigrants. His mother is cookbook author Najmieh Batmanglij while his father is a publisher. His parents are both Iranian and arrived in D.C. in 1983.[2] His brother is independent filmmaker Zal Batmanglij. The two collaborated on the film, Sound of My Voice, which Rostam scored and which Zal directed and co-wrote.[3] Rostam also composed an original piece for piano that was featured in Zal's film The East.[4]

Musical career[edit]

Vampire Weekend[edit]

Batmanglij (left) with Vampire Weekend

Batmanglij majored in music at Columbia University where Vampire Weekend formed in 2006. "At Columbia, I would study classical harmony in classes and I would study music on my own, and I would try to re-create songs that I love in recordings...that was really how I learned."[5] The name of the group comes from the movie of the same name that bandmate Ezra Koenig and his friends made over summer vacations. Batmanglij produced their self-titled debut album shortly after graduation while concurrently working multiple full-time jobs. He also produced the band's follow up album, Contra which sold 124,000 copies in its first week and landed atop the Billboard 200 charts.[6] Batmanglij plays guitar, keyboard and sings in the band but also acts as a lyricist and songwriter, co-writing the song "Diplomat's Son" on Contra. Koenig has described himself and Batmanglij as "the two main songwriters in the band."[7]

On March 18, 2013, Vampire Weekend released two songs from their album Modern Vampires of the City, "Diane Young" and "Step". Within two weeks each song had garnered more than 1 million views on YouTube. Music for both songs is credited to Batmanglij and Koenig, and lyrics are credited to Koenig. Modern Vampires of the City is the first Vampire Weekend album Batmanglij did not produce alone; for this record he collaborated with longtime friend Ariel Rechtshaid and the two co-produced the album together. It was released May 14, 2013.[8]

On January 26, 2016, Batmanglij announced on Twitter that he had left Vampire Weekend to pursue solo projects, but that he would continue to collaborate with Koenig on future projects and Vampire Weekend songs.[9]


Batmanglij began recording with Ra Ra Riot's vocalist Wes Miles on a project which was later to become Discovery. They released their debut album LP on July 7, 2009 on XL Recordings. The album features guest vocal contributions from Koenig as well as Dirty Projectors' Angel Deradoorian.[10]

In 2015, Batmanglij produced and contributed vocals on the song "Water" for Ra Ra Riot's fourth album Need Your Light.

Solo work[edit]

In September 2011, Batmanglij released a solo track called "Wood". Timeout Chicago's Brent DiCrescenzo gave the song 4 out of 5 stars and wrote that "his voice pleasantly recalls a drowsy David Byrne".[11] On November 1, 2011, Zane Lowe debuted another a solo song sung by Batmanglij called "Don't Let it Get to You" as the Hottest Record in the World on BBC Radio1.[12] The Fader referred to it as "a seismic event of a song."[13] In January 2016, Batmanglij released the song "EOS" along with its music video which he had directed.[14]

Collaborative work[edit]

In 2010, Converse released "All Summer", written by Batmanglij and featured Kid Cudi and Bethany Cosentino from Best Coast.[15]

Batmanglij produced and co-wrote two songs for The Walkmen frontman Hamilton Leithauser's solo album, Black Hours, which was released in June 2014.[16][17] Also in 2014, Batmanglij produced two songs for singer Charli XCX. The song "Need Ur Luv" appears on her album Sucker[18] and the song "Kingdom" featuring Simon Le Bon appears on the The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.[19] In December 2014, Batmanglij along with Diplo and Ed Droste remixed Ty Dolla Sign's "Stand For" into a new song titled "Long Way Home".[20] Batmanglij also wrote original music for a play by Kenneth Lonergan called This Is Our Youth, starring Kieran Culkin, Michael Cera, and Tavi Gevinson, which premiered on Broadway in 2014.

In 2015, Batmanglij worked alongside Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen on her third studio album, E•MO•TION. In an interview with Stereogum, Jepsen described working with Batmanglij as writing with a musician she admires, and said that together they had made "what’s maybe one of [her] favorite songs" on the record.[21] Batmanglij produced and co-wrote the fourth single, "Warm Blood", which was released on July 31, 2015.[22] E•MO•TION was released worldwide on August 21, 2015.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Batmanglij is openly gay and talked about his sexual orientation in the magazine Out.[24] In an Instagram post in 2015, he said that Ed Droste of the band Grizzly Bear influenced his decision to publicly come out.[25]


  1. ^ HAPPY BIRthDAY Hottie Rostam Batmanglij « LaurenSList. (November 28, 2009). Retrieved on 2012-05-12.
  2. ^ Iranian American Guitarist of Vampire Weekend, Rostam Batmanglij, Comes Out | MTV IGGY. (February 25, 2010). Retrieved on 2012-05-12.
  3. ^ Q&A: Brit Marling, Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij, and Director Zal Batmanglij on Sound of My Voice. (April 17, 2012). Retrieved on 2012-05-12.
  4. ^ Jen, Vineyard. "Tom Hiddleston Describes The "Wounded Soul" Of Loki & Ralph Macchio, Toby Kebbell & More Chat at NYC Premiere Of 'War Horse'". Indie Group. 
  5. ^ Levine, Mike. "Back for a Second Bite". Electronic Musician. 
  6. ^ Brahms, Stephan. "Vampire Weekend Lands First No. 1 Album". Billboard. 
  7. ^ The Artful Dodgers: Santigold & Vampire Weekend :: Music :: Features :: Paste. (January 5, 2010). Retrieved on 2012-05-12.
  8. ^ ELISCU, Jenny. "Vampire Weekend on Their Adventurous New Album". 
  9. ^ Gajanan, Mahita (January 27, 2016). "Vampire Weekend founding member Rostam Batmanglij quits band". The Guardian. Archived from the original on January 27, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Discovery (Vampire Weekend/Ra Ra Riot Side Project) Album Details Revealed". May 20, 2008. 
  11. ^ DiCrescenzo, Brent. "Dum Dum Girls + Rostam | Track review". TimeOut Chicago. 
  12. ^ Lowe, Zane. "Hottest Record – Rostam – Don't Let It Get To You". BBC. 
  13. ^ Bruce, Parker. "Stream: Rostam, "Don’t Let It Get To You"". The Fader. 
  14. ^ Minsker, Evan (January 14, 2016). "Vampire Weekend's Rostam Releases "EOS"". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on January 29, 2016. Retrieved January 29, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Kid Cudi, Best Coast, Rostam Batmanglij Collaborate for Converse Track". July 19, 2010. 
  16. ^ Batmanglij, Rostam (August 22, 2013). "I co-wrote two songs with The Walkmen's Hamilton". Batmanglij's blog. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  17. ^ Pelly, Jenn (August 21, 2013). "Walkmen's Hamilton Leithauser Working on LP With Members of Vampire Weekend, the Shins, Fleet Foxes". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  18. ^ O'Mance, Brad. "The song Charli XCX did with the bloke from Vampire Weekend is called ‘Need Your Love’". 
  19. ^ Rettig, James. "Charli XCX – “Kingdom” (Feat. Simon Le Bon)". 
  20. ^ Gordon, Jeremy (December 11, 2014). "Diplo, Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste, Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij Turn Ty Dolla $ign's "Stand For" Into New Song "Long Way Home"". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on January 1, 2015. Retrieved January 1, 2015. 
  21. ^ Rettig, James. "Q&A: Carly Rae Jepsen On Her All-Star Indie Collaborators And Really, Really, Really Anticipated New Album". Stereogum. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  22. ^ Joyce, Collin. "Carly Rae Jepsen Shares Woozy ‘Warm Blood’ Single". Spin. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  23. ^ Geffen, Sasha. "Carly Rae Jepsen – Emotion". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  24. ^ Goodman, Elizabeth. "Rostam Batmanglij: Interview with a Vampire". Out. Here Media Inc. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  25. ^ Panisch, Alex. "Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij Thanks Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste for Helping Him Come Out". Out. Here Media Inc. Retrieved December 28, 2015.