Saturday, 18 July 2015
29 March 2023
No legitimate freedom for a simple life

“Mr. High ranged vocalist is a devil worshiper”

2011 February 07

Ardavan Roozbeh/Radio Koocheh

Translated by Avideh Motmaen-Far/Radio koocheh

All round four years ago when I was working for a radio, I produced a series of program named “minus one” that dealt with underground music in Iran. In these series, what was important to me was that young people of a land full of energy and vitality were ready to work and to express their capabilities, even though deserved criticism, but did not have the least of possibilities.

In doing so, I came to meet some of these underground groups who just loved to perform, make themselves known and share their conceptions. And an important thing was that most of these people were summoned and interrogated in various courts. Some of these groups have even been accused of trying to overthrow the regime but of course, accusations of this kind are daily bread these days.

But a part of this process was somehow rooted in the traditional objections. The traditional attitude of Fundamentalists was somehow to banish because of lack of understanding of what young person feel and how they function and what a normal requirement is for a young massive energy to drain.

This being said, I just wanted to make an introduction to the fact that the simplest aspiration in a  concerned community, may engage in a security issue or become doctrinal.

He is called “Matin” which is probably a nickname or maybe it does not even matter. Known as the ”Matin 2 larynx”, his vocal rang is very vide. And his reputation comes from the variety of notes he is able to sing.

I first saw this young singer in a video on YouTube where a cleric over the pulpit, according to his understandings, highlights ”Matin” as the symbol of devil worshiping. Being discovered by this cleric, transformed his entire life, he who was only interested in rock music. Being labelled as a ”Devil Worshiper” is not an unimportant thing in today’s Iran to be charged with.

He is called “Matin” which is probably a nickname or maybe it does not even matter. Known as the ”Matin 2 larynx”, his vocal rang is very vide. And his reputation comes from the variety of notes he is able to sing.

But ”Matin” has repeatedly denied it. He says that the way he is dressed cannot mean that he ”worships the devil”. It cannot be a sign of moral or doctrinal deviation. Who is truly a Devil Worshiper? Where is the investigative resources for this issue and which are references confirming that devil worshiping exist in Iran and ”Matin” could be its symbol?

These kind of accusations have created a situation where different groups of the vibrant young people are isolated from the body of the community, leave the country or have underground lives.

It is true that many people are not politically active and do not follow anything. When young passionate people do not have the opportunity to express their internal needs, they definitely and undoubtedly will find another way to conceive. Many of the protests that the government can not control are due to the kind of pressure in various domain they have been imposing to people for over thirty years.

”Matin” has participated in an interview with Ardavan Roozbeh. He is the symbol of a generation, with all its demands, ups and downs, and repressed needs.

Some might criticize some one’s work or some one’s doing but it is better to let people do something and then criticize them in a positive way rather than preventing things to be done pretexting that it would not be well done anyways.

Interview with “High ranged Matin” in Radio Koocheh:

What is the ”university song”?

”The ”University song” is a track I loved to publish since a long time. But I wanted to be in a situation when a larger audience could hear it but it had bad consequences for me. A few university professors and students had pressed charges against me and it was in my file in Iran.

This song is about social issues and the deviations in the Universities. It is about people who are  not seeking knowledge at the university, and care about the problems that are created in the universities.”

Matin! Are you really a devil worshiper?

”No. And I have mentioned that in a few songs and a short interview on the internet. These discussions have created many problems for me. When you asked whether I have any objections to the social situation in Iran, I must say that I’m trying not to protest, and if I have any objection, I protest in my songs.”

I have listened to your song ” Nazmieh”. I cannot say that it is not protesting.

”That is true. And I accept that with my look and the style of music that cannot be easily performed in Iran, I cannot have any concerts in any city.

Social and artistic freedom is good as long as it is provided for everyone. Not that just some can understand it. There should not be two sides. The differences in various cultures in Iran are the root of many problems.”

Some people protested against you, and wrote about your look in different sites, even a cleric was mentioning your jewellery and the way you are dressed as devil. What does your look is symbolizing?

”Signs, refers to and depends on what is inside your heart and soul.  I do not think that someone’s bear or long hair show her true beliefs.”

Are you talking about Mr. ”Adel Ferdosipour” who said that what people believe in their heart is of their own concern?

”That’s right.”

Talk about the atmosphere around your job in Iran. What obstacles did you encounter in your job when you started? Why did you have any obstacle at all?

”My music is not Western Rock, it is “Oriental Rock”, this is the name I chose for it. A mixture of compilation, instruments and even Western and oriental tremolos.

At first when my work was not known by the public, I did not have any problem. But when I started to be known, many people protested. The same way I had radical fans, the same way I had radical protesters. And about me, my earrings, and my pair of glasses that had only one glass they wrote in web blogs and talked very negatively of me. On the other hand, there are also about thirty blogs supporting me. But given the situation in Iran, the protesters were more successful and they wanted to bring me down by using the religion.”


Do you mean that these symbols are a part of your personal taste and do not promote any particular culture, either framaconerie or devil worshiping? Although I think none of these really exist in Iran as it could be defined.

”Absolutely. I’m not at the level of being able to promote anything. As a child I listened to Western rock music and loved it. On the other hand, I listened to the traditional music that was not comparable to the Rock. This means that I could combine these things and make people like it through their own taste. Before, there were rock singers but did not succeed and Western rock does not combine well with poetry of Hafez and Rumi. Maybe classic rock could be played in the poems.”

Since you left Iran, you have been in Malaysia and Turkey. Why did you conclude that you can not continue to work in Iran?

”After I was arrested three times and the last time that I was in illegal detention, I understood that I should not have any activities. Although I love music and I cannot live without it so I preferred to continue overseas.”

What have you been doing after you left Iran?

”An album named “Third larynx” which is in the market recently. And two video clips that will be broadcasted.”

Why are you called ”Matin, high ranged”(2 larynx)?

”Matin 2 larynx is an expression. No one has two larynx. And of course, people who criticize me spread this negatively. In fact I have a vide range and God made me capable of this and I am grateful. I can hold the lowest and the highest kind of male voice. Third larynx, is between the two and is the normal voice. In my last album, the third larynx is used.”

Do you believe that in the East and among artists there is a kind of mafia that may not accept everyone?

”That’s right one hundred percent. However, the issue is not accepting someone. The Mafia needs huge advertising budget and requires large capital investments that are in between people who promote what they like. The problem is not if there are limitations in Iran or not. But the bigger issue is that the music Mafia outside the country is perhaps even worse than in Iran. From the dealers to those who understand something about the music, they are just looking to play with people. Between two major centers of Iranian music abroad, I mean Dubai and Los Angeles, I did not see anything else than dealers of music rather that art.”

Do you mean that this has nothing to do with the limitations?

These restrictions are created by music investors in the Music industry. When a famous satellite channel broadcasts music during a month, it means that they influence and manipulate the public’s taste. If they really follow different music and art, every month they should play a different style so people can see and the dealers cannot manipulate people. When they want to make something become famous they do it.”

Do you mean that it is the Mafia in music that allows someone to enter the game or not?

”Unfortunately, yes.”


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