TULSA, Okla. — UPDATE (2/6/23 1:30 P.M.) — “Baraye” won the Grammy for social change special merit award. First Lady Jill Biden announced the award. An online video showed Hajipour in a darkened room, wiping tears away after the announcement.
Tulsa musician Taylor Hanson, from the band Hanson, is trying to raise awareness of anti-government protests in Iran.
He’s got together with the nonprofit For Women Life Freedom, which works to support women in Iran, to record a song with thousands of people singing.
The project is called ‘The Voices Project.’ The song they’re singing, ‘Baraye,’ was originally made by Iranian artist Shervin Hajipour and became an anthem for the protests in Iran.
Hanson said music is powerful.
“I’ve toured the world, last year I was in 100 cities and I see music’s power, but this a truly a transcendent place where music has actually bring peoples attention and to unify,” he said.
The Iranian protests were sparked last year by the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody. She was reportedly detained by the morality police for not properly wearing a head scarf. Demonstrators have taken to the streets across the world, including in Tulsa, when around 200 protesters rallied at the Center of the Universe last October.
Taylor Hanson and For Women Life Freedom are inviting 16,000 people to sing the song, making it the largest single studio recording of voices in history.
The number 16,000 represents the number of people who’ve been arrested for protesting in Iran.
“There are at least 16,000 protestors, peaceful protestors, people that are young women, young men, boys and girls peoples of all ages, that have peacefully protested in the streets because of violence against women, violence against individuals in Iran for so long and because of just standing in the street and protesting and gathering they’re awaiting potential execution,” Hanson said.
Katy Amiri-Younesi from For Women Life Freedom said they want to be the voice of the voiceless.
There was a special recording of the song at the iconic Henson Studios in Los Angeles, where artists got together in 1985 to record ‘We Are The World.’
Taylor Hanson said he hopes their recording of ‘Baraye’ will help show the world the plight of the Iranian people.
“This project is an invitation to people to really articulate the gravity and the need for more people to shine a light on this terrible atrocity,” said Hanson.
The Voices Project hopes to release their version of the song later this month.
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