YAS

Region: Iran

http://www.myspace.com/yaspersian2

Iran’s premier rapper — the “Persian Tupac” — is the voice of the young and restless generation of Iranian youth hungry for change in their own country and around the world.

Yas Podcast

Born In 1982 – Tehran, YAS first began to listen to rap music at the age of 16, when his father would return from his business trips in Germany and bring him the latest Tupac CD and other hip hop music. After the sudden and untimely death of his father, YAS was faced with the responsibility of becoming the primary care taker of his household. With his father’s debts mounting and barely being able to make ends meet to live and feed the family, YAS at the age of 18 was forced to leave his college ambitions behind and begin to work and support his entire family (his mother, younger brother and triplet sisters). It was at this time that he began to write poetry which soon turned into text lyrics for his music. It was also his way of staying close to his father’s memory.

After the Bam earthquake in Iran, YAS was devastated at the number of lives lost (nearly 50,000 people) in the disaster, it was then, that he wrote his first song “Bam”. This was the beginning of his singing career. He realized that through rap music he had the ability to reach people by telling full stories that he thought was not easy to do through other forms of music which only consisted of a few versus and a chorus. Realizing that through his music, he had the ability to inspire people and reach millions of other young people in Iran, he decided to present his songs to the government and request a permission to release an album. Many years of hearing “NO!” from the officials, and being ridiculed countless times for his singing style (rap) resembling that of “reading a newspaper”, his efforts, finally paid off. To date, in an unprecedented move, six of his ten songs have been granted permission to be released in the Islamic Republic of Iran. “I don’t curse in my music or sing about sex and violence. I want to be able to proudly sing my music in front of my family. My music usually begins with a complaint or the social ills of my society — but it always ends with hope. It’s important to inspire the younger generations to be their best potential. We need this.” Indeed, in a short amount of time, YAS went from singing in front of small groups to now being one of Iran’s #1 hip hop artist. His music is now being listened to and downloaded by millions across the world through various websites and hundreds of Persian blogs.

In 2006, YAS wrote a song called “CD ro Beshkan” (Break That CD), which was written about a well known female actress in Iran who was the victim of sex scandal tape that was being circulated. The scandal ultimately ended her blossoming career. In the song YAS criticizes the people for playing a role in her demise and asked everyone to stop spreading her shame and to get rid of that infamous footage from their computers and mobile phones. The song hit a nerve among the Iranian youth and thousands wrote in and confessed that they went ahead and ‘broke that CD’. The song was listened to and downloaded by millions in Iran alone. YAS’ music has crossed the International waters and he is now fast becoming the voice of his generation — for Iranians inside and outside of their country who often refer to him as the “Persian Tupac”.

YAS’ song, “Hoviate Man” (My Identity) sings of his pride in his Persian heritage and a mention of the controversial movie “300”. The song has become sort of a national anthem for the younger generations especially the Iranian Diaspora that are eager to connect to their rich culture and history. His music has set a new standard for Persian rap and has inspired many up and coming rappers to follow his lead and sing of more meaningful and positive messages in their own music and when he is not recording himself, you will find him collaborating with other musicians so that together they can “introduce Persian rap to the world”.

Indeed, YAS’ message of hope and unity has been heard across the waters — he has been featured and interviewed by the media worldwide, including CNN, BBC and National Geographic (cover story on Persia August 2008). He has also just signed a contract with an American music publishing company; Modiba Publishing (Evergreen Publishing) (Ironically, Evergreen Publishing is also the home of the late Tupac Shakur catalogue who has granted permission for a mashup song between YAS and Tupac to show how hip hop can help bridge the cultural divide between us ). After his very successful live performances in London and Dubai in 2008, YAS is currently writing and recording new music which he will be performing for audiences in the US. His tour will continue throughout 2009 in Europe and Australia.

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YAS has been interviewed by and his music featured in variety of TV programs, Radio, Print newspapers and magazines, oline sites and blogs worldwide. To name a few:

CNN Television (Domestic and International)
National Geographic Magazine (Cover issue – August 2008)
BBC Persian
Guardian UK
Time Out Magazine
Radio Javan
Radio Zamaneh
Radio KIRN 670 AM
Radio Stockholm
Radio Farda
Bebin TV
Radio Rock (Italy)
Radio Zir Zamin
ZIG ZAG Radio (BBC)
Persian Mirror online magazine
OZIRAN magazine (Australia) * To be printed
Radio Javan
Radio Divar
Mardom va Jame-eh – “People & Society” – (Iran- magazine feature)
Chel Cheragh – “Forty Lights” – (Iran – magazine feature)
Etemad Melli – “National News” (Iran – newspaper)
Etelaat Haftegi – “Weekly News” – (Iran – Magazine Feature)
Majale Bist Saleha – “20 Years Old” – (Iran – Magazine Feature)
Majale Shahrvand (Magazine Feature)
Majale Hamshahri Javan – “Fellow Youth” (Iran – Magazine Feature)
021 Music
Ganja 2 Music.com
Bia2music.com
Some Iranian music channels (i.e., Tapesh Ent., Persian Music Channel (PMC)
Iranian.com
Rap98.com

ADDITIONAL PROJECTS:

Red Hot + Rumi (2006)
YAS was the inspiration behind a music compilation project recorded in NYC in honor of RUMI’s 800 birthday celebration. The music project was a collaboration between nine Iranian modern musicians along with American producers.

GLOBAL HIP HOP (Compilation CD)
SONY-BMG Entertainment (Greece)
RELEASE DATE: September 2008

US-ISLAM World Forum (Doha, Qatar 2008) – Speaker/Participant (Cultural Diplomacy/Arts & Entertainment)

Shiraz University (Iran 2008) – Speaker- In an unprecedented move, YAS was invited to speak and defend the emergence and the role of hip hop in Iran.

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