October's Featured Artist
After fleeing Iran as a child with her family, forward-thinking singer Sevda “Sevdaliza” Alizadeh lived in a refugee camp before moving to Rotterdam in the Netherlands, where she grew up. Her life then took another curious turn – she became a basketball player, leaving home at 16 on a scholarship before going on to play for the Dutch national team.
After abandoning the world of professional sports for a job in communications, she realized she wanted a change of focus – to take a moment in a life that had hinged so much on survival and discipline – and so she turned to music, self-releasing her first EP, The Suspended Kid, in 2015.
Her latest album Shabrang, released on August 28, is her best work to date. The record’s title comes from a mythical Persian horse, Shabrang Behzād, the “night-colored purebred” of the hero Siyâvash, and its project is in part a reflex to the impossibility of translation.
What results is a work that pays tribute to Bristol's trip-hop scene while staying one step ahead of other artists. The album can take you through dark valleys only to make unexpected turns into brighter sonic landscapes.