Singer Mahsa Vahdat from Iran talks about the religious ban on women singing in her country.
Mahsa Vahdat, born in Tehran in 1973, was awarded with the 2010 Freemuse Award at a ceremony in London on 25 March 2010. She is strong defenders of freedom of musical expression and well-known to audiences in Europe, where her songs — unlike in her home country — can be performed without restrictions.
The Freemuse Award Committee stated: “Mahsa Vahdat continues to resist all pressures that the conservative sectors of Iranian society put on woman musicians. Despite such pressures Iran has a remarkably vibrant music scene that ridicules the clichés that are often written about the country, and Mahsa is a fabulous example of this. Last year, she recorded an album with Mighty Sam McClain, an artist from the ‘enemy nation’ — the US. Her courage and bold resistance in continuing to follow her artistic muse makes her an ideal laureate.”
She attended the Music Freedom Day event in Stockholm, Sweden, on 3 March 2010, and this is where the video above was recorded by Freemuse (Ole Reitov and Mik Aidt).
Mahsa Vahdat is one of the voices on the CD ‘Lullabies from the Axis of Evil’ (2004).
Mahsa Vahdat participated in the Freemuse conference on freedom of musical expression in Beirut in October 2005. In the video clip below, which was recorded during the conference, she talks about music censorship in Iran with special regards to the situation of women musicians.