Music, politics and identity
Nikan Khosravi, founder of Iranian heavy metal band Confess, was arrested in 2015 for his defiant lyrics and imprisoned in the country’s notorious Evin jail - charged with blasphemy and anti-government propaganda. He later fled the country, gained political asylum in Norway and, undeterred, formed a new Iranian-Norwegian line-up, with an unflinching new album - Revenge At All Costs. Nikan talks to Anu Anand about his music and his experiences
Plus, Tamer Nafar – the Palestinian hip-hop pioneer who grew up in Israel in a city of Palestinians and Jews, and raps in Arabic, Hebrew, and English about politics, identity, women’s rights, and social justice. He tells Anu about the influence of his background and US hip hop, and his new track, The Beat Never Goes Off: recorded with 12 year-old Gaza-based rapper MC Abdul - despite being physically separated.
And LGBTQ+ rap. Whilst the community don’t always feel accepted or represented in rap due to the homophobia and misogyny sometimes present. Reporter Jaja Muhammad talks to two artists who boldly express identity in rap - agender New York rapper Angel Haze, and non-binary, Johannesburg-based electronic rapper, Mx Blouse.
And Yvonne Chaka Chaka, ‘The Princess of Africa’ - speaks to Mpho Lakaje about overcoming poverty and finding a new self through her music.
(Photo: Nikan Khosravi. Credit: Eric Bransborg)