From the time of Persian Sarmatian female warriors to the enviable space-trip taken by Iranian-American Anousheh Ansari in 2006 - as the world’s first female non-astronaut-traveler/space-tourist - Iranian women seem capable of conquering it all.
We believe the Abjeez - slang for “sisters” in Farsi - are made of the same thriving genetic ingredients as they carry on the Persian tradition of perseverance, equality, artistic expression, and compassion through their pioneering yet organic fusion of Pop-Rock-Reggae-Persian-Flamenco acoustics. In our opinion, sisters Melody - aptly named, as her name means “song” (maybe their mom knew something?) - and Safoura (who shares her name with Moses’s wife) are the best Iranian-musical-sister-combo since Hayedeh and Mahasti. However, their musical styles couldn’t be any more different. The Abjeez’s music is innovative, timely, and deliciously raw.
Safoura’s training at the Fundacion Cristina Heeren de Arte Flamenco in Seville, Spain with a concentration in Flamenco-Guitar, shines through, while Melody’s natural musical instinct is as insightful and melodically in tune.
They express deep emotion using their instruments – as well as their gift for vocal arrangements, which are recognizably unique to their perfect creations. A smart mix of well-articulated formal and slang Persian linguistics is abundant in their witty lyrical choices: “toe bee eh-ssaasi, taa haalaa nakardi ye’ geryeye assaassi”, a verse from their song ‘Geryeye Mard’ that has already become forever-ingrained in our brain. Like most of our fellow Iranian girls and boys, we’ve been in love with the Abjeez from the first time we heard their name, but we admit that once we heard their musical masterpieces – it was over for us. We’ve been officially “obsessed” ever since. We hope you enjoy reading this interview as much as we enjoyed it. Melody and Safoura, nicknamed Abjeezooloo and Abjeeloo respectively, not only inspire us to be better through their clever Persian-Cante-Jondo-esque sounds, but also through their refreshingly unassuming charm and lovely personalities.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: “Rock-on Persian-Princesses”
*SS = Safoura **MS = Melody
Sanaz Khalaj: Where were you born?
Safoura: In a hospital in Teheran, Iran.
SK: Where did you grow up?
SS: In many places. In India, in the north of Sweden, in the South of Sweden and in Spain. (I'm still growing though.)
MS: Mainly Iran & Skandinavia
SK: When was your last visit to Iran?
SS: Summer 2003.
MS: Autumn of 2003.
SK: Describe High School in one sentence.
SS: 3 years of determination, observation and lots of pimples.
MS: Probably one of the best periods of my life.
SK: When did Abjeez form and why the name?
SS: In April 2005. Because that's who we are, each others and YOUR sisters. ;)
MS: The foundation of the band was built during the 90s but Abjeez as a band was created sometime in 2005. Because we are sisters.
SK: What is your favorite Abjeez song?
SS: They are all my children and I love them all the same, but if I have to choose I will say Eddeaa.
MS: Depends on my mood, but for the moment “Immigrant”, unfortunately you haven’t heard it yet ;O)
SK: What is your favorite song of all time?
SS: Muy difícil to pick only one. But I will choose "Another day in paradise" - Phil Collins.
MS: Very difficult question, but if I HAVE to choose, then it's "Coming back to life" by Pink Floyd (Division Bell 1994)
SK: Where did you get your inspiration for your first album?
SS: From everywhere I've lived and with all the musicians I've played and all the beautiful people I have had the honor to meet and get to know.
MS: From people around us and the love and support of my family.
SK: When did you write your first song?
SS: When I was 12 years old.
MS: At the age of 20
SK: Name 3 songs currently on repeat-play on your iPod.
SS: I don't have an iPod. But I can't stop listening to this CD: "Knotty Bits" Chris Bottomley. He is GREAT.
MS: I never put any song on repeat, unless it is an Abjeez song that has to be memorized.