Saturday 6 July 2019
Liraz updates the golden era of Iranian pop music

Liraz Charhi provides a voice for silenced Iranian women.

She is a cherished singer and actress with one foot in Israel, the other in Iran (and when acting, a foot in Hollywood). She grew up in Tel Aviv, and her parents are political refugees, so she has no chance of visiting her home country.

Liraz grew up surrounded by classical Persian music. She began singing, dancing and playing the piano at an early age and instantly knew this was her future.

Music has always stayed close to her heart. She has done several Hebrew recordings (listen to her Farsi cover of Ellie Goulding's "Love Me Like You Do"), and in 2018 Liraz released her debut album called Naz.

She sings in Farsi and the influences from fiery and defiant icons like Googoosh and Ramesh – where traditional Persian instruments were framed in a pop sensibility – are ever-present on her album. Naz is dominated lyrically by the role of women in society and musically by beguiling layers of Persian hip-hop, a style of music that utilises traditional instruments such as the kanoon, lyra and ney as well as electronica employing the electric oud, synths and beats. Liraz recruited Israeli beat maker Rejoicer (he delivers beats to Stones Throw, among others) so we are treated with a sound that mixes tradition and modernity. Through her songs, she returns to her roots and travels between East and West.

Liraz is a gem, and she is living proof that music overcomes any language barrier.