20/05/2016Israeli Actress & Singer/Songwriter Embraces Her Persian Musical Roots

To label her up-and-coming would not be doing her prolific career justice: Liraz Charhi, alias Liraz, was born into a family that was all about 'the arts' and grew up surrounded by classical Persian music. Her family had emigrated to Israel in the 70s at the brink of the Iranian Revolution. She began singing, dancing and playing the piano at an early age and instantly knew this was her future.

As an actress, she's worked with Hollywood icons the likes of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, but has also appeared on stages across Israel, where she has become a household name and face, gracing local magazine covers.

Not to forget her burgeoning musical career: With several Hebrew recordings under her belt she has long since wowed crowds, delivering groundbreaking performances. (Watch her Farsi cover of Ellie Goulding's "Love Me Like You Do", set in Istanbul)

During her regular visits to Los Angeles for film work, she increasingly came in touch with the expatriate Persian/Iranian community and culture there, dubbed 'Tehrangeles', while being exposed to the counter-revolutionary sounds of singers such as the legendary Googoosh and the renowned Dariush.

This encouraged her to return to her Persian roots and, as expressed in a recent interview with Israeli daily Haaretz, to "provide a voice for silenced Iranian women". She is now reinventing herself and forging ahead with a new album, fusing modern sounds and beats with her own ethnic flavour in Farsi and Hebrew.

For this, she teamed up with acclaimed beats producer Rejoicer (Raw Tapes) to produce an album that boasts a rich mix of "Middle Eastern spice and clean-cut beats", both cover versions and original songs, updated by Rejoicer's freshly sampled beats and performed with a handful of Iranian musicians.

Listen to her debut single "Nozi Nozi" below, featuring Rejoicer on keys, Malox's Roy Chen on drums and the stunning Liraz on vocals.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom