As powerful and popular many protest songs have been throughout history they have not had their own category at one of the world’s largest music awards ceremony – until now.
The annual Grammy Awards, in the US, have now added a new category called “Best Song for Social Change”. With this The Recording Academy aims to recognise songs with profound social influence and impact.
One song in particular has by now received a vast amount of submissions for the new award. “Baraye” by 25-year-old Iranian musician, Shervin Hajipour, was written in response to the death of 22 year old Mahsa Amini.
The song went viral on social media, gaining over 40 million views, before Hajipour was arrested by Iranian authorities. The artist has since then been released on bail.
In a recent Instagram post, Hajipour denied any links to any “movement or organisation outside the country” and said clarified that his song was only meant to “express solidarity with the people”.
In a statement, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr said: “The Academy is deeply moved by the overwhelming volume of submissions for Shervin Hajipour’s ‘Baraye’ for our new Special Merit Award, Best Song for Social Change.
“While we cannot predict who might win the award, we are humbled by the knowledge that the Academy is a platform for people who want to show support for the idea that music is a powerful catalyst for change.
“The Academy steadfastly supports freedom of expression and art that’s created to empower communities in need. Because music serves the world, and the Recording Academy exists to serve music.”