The 65th annual Grammy Awards, in the US, took place on Sunday the 5th of January. For the first time a new category was introduced as the Best Song for Social Change award was given out.
The first recipient of the new award is Iranian musician Shervin Hajipour who wrote a protest song in solidarity with protesters and activists in Iran who sought justice for all women after a young Iranian woman was killed in police detention. Mahsa Amini was only 22 years old when her life was cut short by the so called morality police after allegedly breaking hijab rules.
Hajipour’s song, Baraye, quickly became an anthem in the protests that followed and caused the artist to be arrested. Now the Grammy winning musician is awaiting trial.
In her article about the power this song has over the Iranian regime, an article which we republished recently here on Shouts, Iranian author Nahid Siamdoust writes:
“The state security system instantly understood the significance of “Baraye” as a protest song. Hajipour was forced to take it off his Instagram account; however, not only has his song already been shared widely by other accounts and on other platforms, but the sentiments behind the lyrics are within the millions of people who wrote them.
The chants of “Death to the Dictator” have reverberated from the streets to the universities, from oil refineries to urban rooftops, and from bazaars to school courtyards. And so have the haunting calls for freedom repeatedly intoned at the end of “Baraye,” pouring forth from every corner of the actual and virtual Iranian public sphere.
That song’s reality can no longer be repressed and hidden by force.”