• R. Helgason

A quick intro and album review of the talented Iranian-Dutch singer, songwriter and producer.

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 2020, shows how much she keeps evolving as an artist. 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 contemporary artists. The album can take you through dark valleys only to make unexpected turns into brighter sonic landscapes.

Sevdaliza was kind enough to put the whole album on youtube for everyone to enjoy. Make sure you listen from start to finish and go to her website to get yourself an original copy. It's absolutely worth it.