The prophet is transmitting through the feed
The leader is disguised in symmetry
I’ll meet you in that neutral promised field
We’re going to dissolve the boundary
Persian-American virtuoso Taraneh Azar exemplifies a cultural richness and diversity that mirrors her musical creations. Her name, capturing the essence of melody in Farsi, reflects the wide array of influences she brings to her performances. Her musical foundations, deeply rooted in Iran’s ancient heritage, merge with the dynamic beats of New York City, where her distinct sound emerges.
Her latest single, Prophet, is the first of three off of the forthcoming record, New Age Prayer. This full-length debut album, executive produced by Kris Esfandiari (King Woman), is set to drop on the date of April 20…an auspicious time selected by dream pop luminary artist and astrologer Tamaryn. The song itself channels the work of Rumi, a 13th-century Persian poet, and Sufi mystic celebrated for his profound spiritual poetry that explores the nature of love, the human soul, and the divine. His works, including Masnavi, continue to inspire and resonate across cultures with their timeless wisdom and universal themes.
The lyrics to Prophet delve into the metaphorical journey of seeking divine guidance amidst the digital age, drawing parallels with the Islamic pursuit of closeness to Allah and discerning His signs in all facets of life, including the digital sphere. They portray a prophet as both an online image and a mental conduit, illustrating the timeless nature of prophetic insights in navigating believers through contemporary modes of communication while preserving their spiritual core.
Themes of self-examination, breaking barriers, and the focus on recollection resonate with Islamic principles of introspection, knowledge-seeking, and the significance of cherishing and pondering over personal experiences and God’s signs in the cosmos. Prophet is about of spiritual exploration and contemplation within a technologically connected world, mirroring Islamic ideals of an unending quest for divine wisdom and comprehension. However, the question arises: how does this path align with the role of the modern woman?
The visual accompaniment, a brainchild of Oliver Pearson—a videographer with roots firmly planted in New York’s creative soil—plunges viewers into a transgressive tableau of glam rock. Yet, it’s the jarring juxtaposition of a niqab with lingerie that truly ignites debate, a bold stroke that lays bare the artist’s nuanced interrogation of both religious iconography and the undercurrents of counterculture. In this jarring video, the artist, a Muslim of Iranian descent, crafts a feminist statement that is both provocative and profound.
Such artistic choices can spark discussions around freedom of expression, cultural appropriation, and the boundaries of artistic exploration in the context of deeply held beliefs and traditions. The controversy often centers on the interpretation of these symbols and their decontextualization. In this case, Taraneh breaks down those walls with a killer backbeat.
Watch the video for “Prophet” below:
Taraneh’s work is a genre-defying journey, a mysterious blend of sounds that teeters between light and shadow. Picture a mix crafted in the quiet of night – the gritty essence of rock, the catchy tunes of pop, and the profound depth of world music – all combined into an unexpected fusion. Her music invites movement, thought, and emotional ascent.
Armed with a diverse set of instruments, from the heartfelt plucking of her guitar to the gentle play on piano keys, and her skillful production techniques, Taraneh stands as an independent force in the music scene. She is reshaping musical expression, with each note unfolding a new chapter of a story yet to be told.