A special session of the song, written by Shervin Hajipour, will take place this weekend
A protestor holds a photo of Mahsa Amini, whose death sparked a wave of demonstrations in Iran and elsewhere. BULENT KILIC/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Last September, as protests spread across Iran following the death of 22-year-old activist Mahsa Amini, the musician Shervin Hajipour released a song in support of the movement, “Baraye.” The song instantly went viral and has since become an anthem for the demonstrations — which is why Hanson’s Taylor Hanson is encouraging as many people as possible to participate in a new recording of the song.
Hanson and a new non-profit, For Women Life Freedom, are organizing the massive project, which aims to gather 16,000 voices for a new recording of “Baraye.” Participants will be asked to help sing an English translation of the final refrain of Hajipour’s song, “For women, life, freedom.”
The special recording session will take place this Saturday, Feb. 4, at Henson Studios in Los Angeles (which just happens to be the same place that “We Are the World” was recorded). Those who want to attend can register to do so, while those who cannot make it are encouraged to record themselves at home and send it in.
Along with Hanson, the “Baraye” session is spearheaded by Persian artist and composer Hamid Saeidi, producer and engineer Jim Scott, and producer/artist David Garza.
The Iran protests started last September after Amini was arrested by Iran’s morality police in Tehran, allegedly for not wearing a proper religious headscarf and modest dress. She died in police custody. Following news of her detainment and death, Amini’s family spoke out, claiming she’d been beaten to death by police. The IRNA has denied the claim and asserted Amini had a heart attack.
Since the protests began, thousands have been arrested, while a growing tide of death sentences and public executions have followed. Days after Hajipour released “Baraye,” he, too, was arrested, though he was able to secure release on bail.
“Baraye” is also believed to be a frontrunner for a special new Grammy being introduced this year, Best Song for Social Change. While a select committee will choose the winner, submissions were open to the public and over a hundred-thousand reportedly came in in support of “Baraye.””