Many months ago, I was searching for compilations of old Persian songs on the Internet to download because they stir up feelings of nostalgia in me even though I wasn’t around when they were originally sung. In one of the compilations, I stumbled across a song called “Safar” by a singer named Artoosh, perhaps more commonly known as “Dard o Nefrin” or simply “Nefrin.” I had never heard of the singer before, so I gave it a listen. I was absolutely mesmerized by the mellowness of the melody and his fluctuating tone throughout the song. I thought the similarity of his voice to Vigen’s almost uncanny.
But the more I listened to it, it became clear to me that this was no Vigen. This was another independent singer who, with his voice, could have really made it in the golden age of Iranian music, and I will forever be left wondering why he opted out of that path. Apparently, Artoosh first performed this song in 1964! This is one of the earliest Iranian jazz songs I’ve ever heard, if not the earliest, and it is without a doubt my favorite one of all time in that genre.
I happened to find a video of him singing:
And you can download the studio recording of it here: