Azadeh is a London based singer-songwriter with some great songs and something to say. Her lyrics are meaningful and from the heart and her melodies are sensitive and thoughtful. Far from being the new kid on the block, Azadeh has been writing songs since she was 15 and has already worked with some big named acts including writing and performing as part of a female vocal group opening for Jools Holland on tour. She also wrote an arrangement for one of his songs. She has recently stated that “being asked to arrange one of Jools' songs is definitely up there in the three golden moments of my life.”
Azadeh has also had a great deal of exposure at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and played at the Union Chapel and the Secret Garden Party. She is currently supporting Deacon Blue as part of their 25 Anniversary tour and stepping out as part of her first ever solo tour. How does she feel about working with a with and supporting Deacon Blue? “ I feel very excited, scared and honoured at the same time, and I hope that I do them proud. I hope to be inspired by what I hear and and take it with me on my musical journey.”
Her musical journey so far has been extensive. There is a maturity which surrounds her work which is reminiscent of those artists which she so fondly admires such as PJ Harvey and Nina Simone and basically “anyone who has something to say and does it well.” Born to Iranian parents, part of Azadehs musical education was listening to Persian music as a child. This gave her inspiration to want to tell stories and communicate through music she tells me “All of the stuff that I used to listen to when I was little, I thought, I wanna do that, I know exactly how that feels and I want to say it in my own way. I really did want to change my poetry into music and song. It was more like completely impulsive and something that just came out of me without me having any say.” She continues to tell me about her song writing influences, “ I went through a phase of only listening to the Beatles because I was sick of listening to all the commercial music and that helped me a lot with learning how to be a songwriter.”
Her contagious enthusiasm for music imbues our conversation and it is clear that music is her life and soul, which in itself is inspirational. “When you hear somebody sing you really like, you feel you share a secret between yourself and the artist. When I hear a good song to this day it inspires me to get my guitar out to do something, to say something and feel something whether it's good or bad.”
That impulse to say something propelled her to write Sons and Daughters, a haunting song about freedom, which is something close to her heart and from someone so young is quite sobering. She explains to me why she wrote that song. “It was very very intense and very exciting time in the Middle East because all the countries were getting involved in the Arab spring and it was having a domino effect in terms of revolution so I really I felt as if I was there...I also felt as if it could be me. I wanted to be there and I wanted to protest. I just wanted to speak up and say that people deserve freedom throughout the world.”
Azadeh has a great gift of really making a song her own and letting her own voice come through in a song. She has recorded an amazingly heartfelt cover (or re imagining) of the Eurythmics classic Here Comes The Rain Again. (which I really hope appears on her album) “Last year I was sitting in my room I was thinking about this guy, it was raining I was feeling a bit nostalgic and feeling oh no I'm thinking about it again here it goes... the song was just staring me in the face, it was exactly how I feel and expressed exactly what I wanted to say.”
“ I went through a phase of only listening to the Beatles... that helped me a lot with learning how to be a songwriter.”
After working with Jools Holland collaboration is something that Azadeh would like to do more of in the future as well as writing for other artists. “Elbow are my favourite band in the world, it would be my dream to work with Guy Garvey.” Our mutual appreciation of Elbow prompts us to have an all too brief discussion of their songs!
In-between her tour with Deacon Blue she is working on her début album, the title of which is being kept a secret for now. But which of her songs will feature on the final cut? “I haven't actually chosen the songs for the album yet, cos there's so many. I'm just hoping I make the right choice. They all cover different stories, so its either about the lyrical theme or the more stylistic musical theme, so we'll see what happens.”
So with the album in the works and the tour occupying her for the time being, what are this very talented young songwriter's hopes for her future? “All I really want is to connect with as many people as possible around the world. I'd like to collaborate with a different array or artists to inspire and be inspired by people everywhere.”
With such an exuberant personality coupled with great musicianship and truthful songs she has already started to inspire those that have heard her. And I am sure she will have great longevity because of this. Be sure to check out her songs and catch her supporting Deacon Blue, you will not be disappointed.