“Silence in the face of oppression is complicity with the oppressor. I cannot be silent.”Mehdi Rajabian
Iranian composer and musician Mehdi Rajabian spent the last year working on his new musical project, the album ‘IT ARRIVES’ following up last years remarkable release ‘Coup of Gods’. For many years, Rajabian experienced imprisonment, bans, solitary confinement and hunger strikes. – “I couldn’t even play an instrument on my album. I could only compose and arrange. I did it just to say that no power can stop the freedom of music”, Rajabian said in an interview with Billboard Media (15. September 2021).
Rajabian was arrested in 2013 and sat three months in isolation before he was released on bail. In 2015 he was once again jailed after having recorded the album ‘The History of Iran Narrated by Setar.’ Rajabian was alleged for having distributed unlicensed music by Iranian singers from outside the country, some of which contained lyrics and messages that the authorities considered to be political or cover taboo subjects. According to Amnesty International’s report from 2016, Rajabian’s trial lasted only three minutes before he was sentenced for having ‘offended Islam’, ‘spread propaganda against the system’ and conducted ‘illegal audio-visual activities.’
“IT ARRIVES” is a triumph of the creative and human spirit. Women are banned from singing in Iran, in public or on recordings, so when Rajabian released an album in 2019 which featured female vocalists, he was arrested and sentenced to prison. Now suffering under house arrest and awaiting trial, he has courageously collaborated with 20 world-renowned, Grammy-nominated and Grammy winning artists, to produce IT ARRIVES. This album is testament to the will to survive and create art despite all odds. At times, joyful or mournful, but flowing with energy, IT ARRIVES provides extraordinary sustenance and life to the listener, and the sheer will to live to composer Mehdi Rajabian.