Ajam Feels Like a Stranger


A few years ago, when I was searching on the Internet for Iranian mahali (folk) music, I came across the music of a London-based group called ‘Ajam’. Their music not only impressed me, but intrigued me as well. After listening to several of their singles, I made it a point to follow up with the group via their site to keep up with their new work. Formed in 2010, Ajam enjoys a broad-spanning fan base across Europe and North America, as well as in Iran. Their music touches on that of the many regions of Iran, from the northern provinces of Azerbaijan and Gilan, down to Shiraz and Khuzestan in the south – and everything in-between. Their music presents a blend of rooted, traditional folk music with a contemporary touch, featuring instruments such as the barbat and daf, as well as electric guitars and keyboards. In terms of inspiration, they often cite the streets and bazaars of Iran, traditional sports and public performances, as well as religious and ritualistic performances.


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