The band Abjeez, meaning “sister” in Persian slang, stays true to its name. Sisters Safoura and Melody Safavi, born in Iran and raised in Sweden, began Abjeez in 2005 as a way to challenge the repressive artistic environment and lack of musical diversity in Iran. Their music borrows from the pre-revolution golden age of Iranian pop and fuses it with rock, reggae, ska, and flamenco.
The sisters sing in four different languages and have gained an international following. Abjeez’s songs, which are composed of Safoura’s distinctive beats and Melody’s socio-politically critical lyrics, have been played at peaceful rallies around the world. “Biyaa,” a reggae Persian resistance song, was one of the first original songs created in support of the peaceful Green Movement in 2009 and became an anthem for the movement. Although it is illegal to buy the band’s albums in Iran, the sisters’ voices have not been silenced. Many Iranian fans have found their music online, and through it have been inspired by the band’s messages of love, hope, and freedom.