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Iranian Human Rights LP 'HOMANITY' Shares New Singles From Justina + Behrouz

The new singles follow last month's release of tracks from pop artist Nikita and metal band TarantisT.

Iranian Human Rights LP 'HOMANITY' Shares New Singles From Justina + Behrouz

Crowdsourcing Human Rights and Democracy Council are excited to share the latest singles to be released from HOMANITY (www.homanitymusic.org), a compilation album due out May 7th featuring prominent Iranian musicians to raise awareness about the censorship and persecution of artists in Iran. With new and original contributions ranging from the legendary Persian pop singer Sattar and the R&B stylings of Shaya, to the alt-rock of Hero & Frya and metal of TarantisT, a wide range of genres and voices are found on the compilation (Full list of artists below).

In anticipation of HOMANITY's release, two new singles from the album are being shared today. A song from female hip hop/pop artist Justina, who was detained and had her home raided and musical equipment destroyed before she fled the country in order to be able to continue making music. And Behrouz Ghaemi, an artist whose own first album, inspired by Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon, was banned from release in Iran for containing too much electric guitar among other western elements. His song "Raay bee Raay (No To Vote)" is a commentary on the arbitrary nature of elections in Iran, which will hold its next presidential election this June.

The new singles follow last month's release of tracks from pop artist Nikita and metal band TarantisT. Read more details in Rolling Stone.

Music, although an integral part of Iranian culture, is treated by the government of the Republic of Iran as inherently corrupting and is strictly regulated. Artistic expressions that are not approved by the government are banned from the public and could lead to imprisonment and even torture for both artists and their audiences. In response, HOMANITY raises awareness about repressive regimes by amplifying the voices of these artists and showcasing censored music and artists that have dedicated their lives to standing up for freedom of expression and for a world where artists of every gender, color, religion, and sexual orientation can produce their music without fear. By spreading the music of Iran, HOMANITY aims to engage Western audiences and create human connections between those who suffer in Iran and people around the world who love art and who cherish the freedom of expression.

In 1979, the leaders of the Iranian Revolution sought to end the influence of increasingly Westernized music in Iran. As a result, all music, aside from government-approved propaganda music, was banned. In an instant, female artists were banned from performing in public and artistic expression through music became a crime.

However, the Iranian people would not be silenced. At first, the music scene began growing its roots in expat communities abroad, providing a source of hope and light while the country was under post-revolution upheaval, and then after a period of time within the borders of Iran in secret. Through underground concerts, illegal sale of music in taxi cabs, and eventually, with the introduction of the internet, digital recordings of tracks, Iranian artists kept the rich history of Iranian music alive and well, even at the expense of their own lives and liberty.

Today, music produced in Iran is widely popular throughout the Middle East, both for its unique sound and its socially conscious messaging. Although these messages cannot ring out over the streets of Tehran, they have inspired and engaged a new generation of activists and artists, not just in Iran, but all around the world. HOMANITY -- a reference to the Persian mythological phoenix Homa, who promotes freedom and protects those who fight for freedom from oppression -- works to further amplify those messages for all to hear.

Stay tuned for further announcements about HOMANITY in the coming weeks.

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