The Iranian singer and businessman told “Today” why he decided to conquer our show business, about the album that he writes with Ukrainian musicians, and about his ambitions.
– Nami, let’s start with why you decided to come to Ukraine at all?
– I researched the Ukrainian market and realized that there is potential here. And I have specific proposals to your authority regarding investments and their successful implementation. When I first came here for the first time, I immediately began to get acquainted with the business market and at the same time realized that the cultural sphere is also well developed here. And since my vocation and hobby is music, I decided to start acquaintance with the Ukrainian public through it. Having a PhD in journalism and social studies, I can say for sure what I can be interesting to the Ukrainian audience and listener.
– Tell us about your musical achievements at the moment and plans. What are you going to do in Ukraine?
– My first album in the style of pop was released in Iran six years ago. It was officially recognized as the most expensive album in the history of Iranian pop music. Then I spent on its creation and the release of 155 thousand dollars, but I never regretted it. In total, more than 117,000 discs were sold. For our country this is an impressive figure, and this record has not yet been beaten by anyone. That is, in my homeland, I already proved to be quite good (smiles). And now I’m working on a new album. And at first I thought of making it bilingual, namely, Iranian-Indian. But now, after I came to Ukraine, I want to write a few songs in Ukrainian and thus release a compilation in three languages. I have already begun work on this album, and most have already been done. Over the Ukrainian part of the album I work here, with the Ukrainian team. But my colleagues – composers and musicians are now working on the Indian part. At the moment I spent on it already 735 thousand dollars, therefore, it is quite possible that the new album will become the most expensive not only in Ukraine, but all over the world.
– Are you going to perform songs in Ukrainian?
– Now I confidently learn the Ukrainian language, so that I can not only understand my interlocutors, but also communicate my thoughts to the audience. In a couple of months I plan to hold my first concert in Kiev, to which I will invite not only Ukrainian musicians, but also stars with world names.
– Have you already met someone from Ukrainian stars? And who of them can take part in your concert?
– While I work hard on the album, and time to get acquainted with the most popular artists in your country, alas, no. But in the near future I am going to do it. Moreover, I plan to invite them to my concert, not only as spectators, but also as guests performing on stage. Also I want to invite representatives of your government and people who deal directly with cultural issues in Ukraine at the highest level.
If we talk about musicians of world renown who will take part in the concert, we already have an arrangement with the saxophonist Mr. Pedro, who works with the most famous orchestras of the world and played for the lady Faige Ateshin, known under the pseudonym Gugush. Her work after the change of political regime and the proclamation of the victory of the Islamic revolution was banned in Iran. Subsequently, Gugush was forced to move to America.
Already now I can assume that this will be the most costly performance not only in my career, but also in Ukraine in particular. I plan to invest a lot in this concert and invite artists really with world names.
I will direct all the earned funds from this concert to charity, as I do not plan to enrich myself at the expense of Ukrainian spectators. I believe that all the funds received in this country should remain in it. In general, thanks to my concerts, I’m not trying to earn anything. For me, this is more of a hobby, able to please my soul.
– Tell us about the style in which you sing. With whose popular music can you compare your repertoire yourself?
– This can be called classical pop music. The composer of my first album was the son of my teacher Babak Bayat – Bamdad Bayat, who at one time was educated in Canada under the mentorship of the author of the soundtracks for the film “Titanic.” So, something in common with music, for example Celine Dion, can be seen. Although, if we talk about my personal preferences, I would like to be more like Demis Roussos. I am very impressed by his music and manner of performance.
Do you write songs yourself?
– I am convinced that the best way is obtained only when professionals are working for their work. That is why the master of this case is engaged in arrangements. And the texts and music are written by people who really have a vocation for this. Without this triangle, in which the performer, the author and the arranger fully manifest themselves, nothing worthy will come about.
– When did you first feel that music is your calling?
– I had a special relationship with my mother’s grandmother, mother. She always stimulated me so that I could develop this talent and make music. At first she even made me sing, but from the age of seven I clearly realized that this is mine. I gave my first concert at the age of 15, which is why I became the youngest pop singer in Iran, who managed to gather a large audience. And all at the moment I had 24 big concerts. And in general talent was beautifully sung to me by my parents.
“Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to me that the Ukrainian listener is not yet ready for the perception of Iranian music.” Try to convince me otherwise.
– If you look at the map of Eurasia, we will notice that the farther to the East, the harder the languages and the perception of culture as a whole. But I’m sure that Iranian music can be popular in your country. Give me only a little time, and I’ll prove it to you (smiles). In Ukraine, I already work with Ukrainian musicians who created music for me, while this is the Indian part of the album, about which I spoke earlier. So, at first I myself doubted whether I would be able to sing in Hindi, but the music critics I gave to listen to the record, calmed me down. In their opinion, this is a very high-quality work, which can not but succeed. I think that efforts will have to be made to Ukrainian songs no less, but I am ready for this. I have already signed contracts with authors of texts and melodies. It remains only to learn a little language.
– What does your nickname Nami mean?
– The author of my songs, which entered the first album, as well as my teacher and mentor Ahura Iman suggested that I choose such a pseudonym. Nami from Persian translates as “recognized worldwide”, “world famous”. My real name is Mojtaba, although in Iran everyone knows me only as Nami.
– How popular are you in your native country? Do they recognize you on the streets?
– I try to go out as little as possible, because it creates some discomfort for me and my friends. And in view of the fact that I am also a businessman, I am very rarely in my native country. Recently, I often have long working visits in Brazil, Singapore and other countries, but whenever I return home and pass passport control at the airport in Tehran, border officials greet me with a smile, their eyes read: they recognized me.
In general, to his fame, I’m calm. If they are looking for meetings with me and trying to talk about my work, then I am sincerely respected and loved.
– And what about your personal life?
– I dream to create a family, which I will make happy. I’m such a person who does not need entertainment. In general, a woman is the embodiment of all the beauty that the Almighty has just invented. This is not only external beauty, but also internal. In general, after my 40th birthday, I’m going to concentrate more on my cultural and charitable activities and devote more time to my family and relatives.
– Today you came to an interview in Ukrainian embroidered, was your choice random? What does your green bracelet and scarf symbolize?
– Thank you for this question. Ukrainian embroidery shows my deep respect for the Ukrainian people, traditions and culture. For a short time of my stay in Kiev, I personally became convinced of the Ukrainian hospitality and sincerity of the Ukrainian soul.
As for the green bracelet and scarf – these are the symbols of my civic attitude towards the 2009 “Green Revolution”. During the peaceful protests of Iranian citizens who came to the streets of the country with one question “where are our votes?”, Many of my compatriots were killed, convicted, the fate of many missing are still unknown. Then I made a promise to God that until the end of my life during concerts, interviews with me, there will always be these reminders about the victims of political persecution. In conclusion, I would like to recall the famous phrase of Mahatma Gandhi, a supporter of peaceful changes without violence and bloodshed: “They came to us, humiliated us, despised, plundered and killed, but we still won!”. Today this is for me a motto that motivates me in creativity and gives hope that sooner or later my people will win the desired victory and its suffering will not be in vain.