Azam Ali and Niyaz Ensemble are truly the voice for our new generation of "Artists Without Border." Or as NPR calls them, "Folk Music for 21th Century."
On April 22, 2011, Iranians and non-Iranians of Washington DC metropolitan had the opportunity to see Azam Ali, the Iranian-International artist and Niyaz ensemble live in concert at the Center of the Arts concert Hall at George Mason University.
Azam Ali, whose hunting and captivating voice has attracted millions of fans around the world for years is perhaps the most famous Iranian singer among non-Iranians, who was not that known within the Iranian communities. Only in the past few years she has come to capture the Iranian audience awe and admiration outside and even inside Iran thanks to the "mystery" and the "spirituality" quality, which has shrouded her voice and her life and also Hollywood.
She was Born in Tehran, Iran in 1970 and was sent to India at the age of 4 by her mother to study at a boarding school only to be reunited with her mother six years late and only when her mother could escape from Iran after the "Islamic revolution." This much we know as it has been written about her and as she has said herself in her interviews.
However, there seems to be a some untold stories in her life that she never talks about. For example, she never talks about her family history, except referring only to here mother briefly. There is no reference to who or where her father was or is and why she was sent to India or to whom she was sent and why her mother could not join her for almost six years until "she escape from Iran."
Some parts of the untold stories could be revealed in the song "Payer for Soheil." She wrote this song in late 1990s and published in 2000 in the album "In the garden of souls." The song is written in Urdo, one of many languages Azam speaks fluently, with no explanation neither in Urdo nor in English except that " Prayer for Soheil is dedicated to my mother in memory of my beloved brother Soheil."
Now, one can see that she had a brother and she has apparently lost him.
(see the following link vimeo.com/20716049 . It is a very beautiful but a very sad song. )
Only when she was on he stage on April 22, 2011 at GMU, she answered many questions about her difficult childhood and her past. Only then, we could see clearly the reflection of her past life on some of her songs. For example, how, when, or where her little brother was lost.
By carefully listening to "Nargis," Which I changed it to "Narges," that is the way it is really pronounced in Persian, one can see and hear an accident scene at the beginning and at the end of the song. Now, by listening to her story on NPR, we know what that means. The best thing is to listen to her story and find out for yourself.