Mamak Khadem — who the Los Angeles Times calls “one of the wonders of world trance music” — is proud to announce her new single “Across the Oceans,” with special guest Chris Martin (Coldplay) on piano and vocals, and is out now on Six Degrees Records.
It will be accompanied by a striking video directed by the award-winning director and cinematographer Sam Javadi. “Across the Oceans” is the first single from Khadem’s forthcoming REMEMBRANCE album, a work that pays tribute to her late father as she addresses themes of profound loss and transcendence. Watch the video at https://youtu.be/xvOdlV4gzo8.
Mamak Khadem has walked many roads in her remarkable life. She spent her childhood and youth in Tehran during a critical juncture in Iranian history that transformed her life. After leaving Iran to study in the U.S., she spent years as an educator before pursuing her career as a professional singer and composer. Traveling to study with music masters in Iran over the years, her artistic and activist paths dually shaped her voice, and to this day she continues to be a devoted advocate for cultural diversity, appreciation of Persian musical tradition, and human rights.
Stunning audiences with her striking blend of classical Persian vocal stylings and diverse contemporary musical influences, she was a founding member of Axiom of Choice, the groundbreaking Los Angeles-based Iranian fusion band who influenced and opened doors for other musicians in the genre. The band released three albums — Beyond Denial (Faray-e Enkaar) (1996), Niya Yesh(2000), and Unfolding (Goshayesh) (2002). Khadem subsequently released three critically acclaimed solo albums Jostojoo: Forever Seeking (2007), A Window to Color (2011), and The Road (2015).
“Across the Oceans” is inspired by Khadem’s work in refugee camps where she sings and hosts workshops for underprivileged children. One of her goals is for the kids to find strength and hope through music. During the COVID pandemic, she couldn’t do such work in person, but she still managed to record the children’s choir remotely, bringing a youthful uplifting energy to the song. The track also features the vocals and piano of special guest Chris Martin (Coldplay), whose performance was key to the song’s foundation. Khadem also enlisted the renowned poet Coleman Barks to recite the verse of Rumi. Barks is considered one of the world’s leading Rumi scholars and Mamak notes “It was an honor when Coleman accepted my invitation to record and translate the beautiful poetry of Rumi for this song.”
Khadem worked with Iranian director and cinematographer Sam Javadi on the creation of the song’s striking video, which visually illuminates many of the key themes. The children in the video transcend their impoverished circumstances with the purity of their intention, while the whales they are trying to save symbolize the Earth and the current state of global warming, environmental degradation and ongoing water issues. Filming in Bushehr, Iran and Northern California, Javadi and his team used special effects and editing to bring the visual manifestation of the song to life, with brilliantly magical results.
Khadem and her music are no strangers to the worlds of film and television. She has recorded with Hans Zimmer on the feature soundtrack to the film Peace Maker; with Jeff Rona on the score of TV series Traffic and Profiler; with Marco Beltrami on the feature soundtrack to Dracula 2000; Chris Beck (Buffy the Vampire Slayer); Richard Gibbs (Battlestar Galactica); and Jamshied Sharifi (Persona Non Grata), to name only a few. Tony Award-winning producer Jamshied Sharifi co-produced and appears on the forthcoming REMEMBRANCEalbum with Khadem.
Khadem has contributed to the advancement of music on a global scale, teaching classes and workshops in the U.S., Canada, Greece and Ireland. Not surprisingly, she believes musicians play a crucial role in the world of politics; she observes, “Music offers a language that is close to people’s hearts rather than their brains. Music offers tools to break boundaries that politics have forced on us.”
Her new album REMEMBRANCE, scheduled for early 2022, is her fourth solo release and her first with Six Degrees Records. It is a powerfully deep and loving tribute to her late father, written in the isolation of her Santa Monica home during the pandemic as her beloved father lived out his final days back in Iran. Due to travel restrictions she was unable to be with him for the last time. With her new album, composed entirely to honor her father, Khadem has poignantly captured a profound sense of beauty, love, separation, and loss.
Download and listen to the single here: https://mamakkhadem.lnk.to/acrosstheoceans