Singer who faces prison in Iran wins a Grammy for protest song Baraye

Dristi Sharma
Dristi SharmaFeb 08, 2023 | 08:00

Singer who faces prison in Iran wins a Grammy for protest song Baraye

Baraye literally translates to "For" or "Because of" and was released in September 2022. Photo: dailyO

The Grammy 2023 will always be known for honouring someone who really deserves it. No, we are not talking about Beyonce. We are talking about the Iranian singer Shervin Hajipour, who may soon face jail because of his song. 

A song can unite, inspire, and ultimately change the world
- Jill Biden, while presenting the award 

Shervin's song Baraye, was given the award for Best Song for Social Change, the first of its kind launched by the Grammy this year. He was awarded by Jill Biden, and she said: "This song became the anthem of the Mahsa Amini protests, a powerful and poetic poem for freedom and women's rights".


Iran started its protest last year in September 2022, after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested for 'not wearing her Hijab properly' by the 'morality police' of the country. She died under their custody, with bruises all over her body. Her death then lead to massive protests against the infamous Iranian regime which has suppressed women's rights. 

Photo: Women holds a poster of Mahsa Amini in a Protest/ Getty Images

Why Shervin's song got a Grammy? In the country where people are now jailed, executed and shot for raising slogans, Shervin's song became the voice which resonates with the protest's official slogan 'Jin Jiyan Azadi' ( Woman, Life, Freedom). Baraye literally translates to "For" or "Because of" and was released in September 2022. 

It also received huge recognition with many famous artists like Coldplay and Jon Batiste covering the song, as a way to lend solidarity to the Iranian citizens. Every verse in the song is beautifully strung together, with every line perfectly describing the deteriorating condition of Iran. Here are some lines from the translated version of the song:

He reiterates Iran's situation and how severe the censorship is in the opening few sentences of his ballad:


To  dance in the street

To be afraid when kissing

For my sister, your sister, our sisters

To change the rotting brains

For shame, for lack of money

He ends the song with a request, a request for freedom:

To miss an ordinary life

For the garbage child and his dreams

For this command economy 

For this polluted air

For Waliasr and worn trees

For victory and the possibility of its extinction

For man, country, settlement

For the girl who wished it was a boy

For women, life, freedom

for freedom

for freedom

for freedom. 

Listen to the full song for yourself: 

Shervin can still be jailed? The song, after its release, went viral with more than 44 million views on Shervin's Instagram. But Shervin was arrested by the regime's agents just two days after he released his song and the song was removed from his page. 

He was released on bail in October after he published a forced confession and an apology on his Instagram page. His case is still going through the 'legal' process, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.

After winning the Grammy, Hajipour wrote on his Instagram: "We won."He received praise from all across the world. 

Check out some reactions: 

Beyoncé may have won 32 Grammys -- but this one surely is the most important one this year.
- Hannah Neumann, German member of European Parliament, tweeted

Iranian pop singer Shervin Hajipour is 25-year-old. He participated in the 2019 season of New Era, Iran's equivalent of Indian Idol, but lost in the final round.

Last updated: February 08, 2023 | 08:00
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