Lock up your daughters and keep an eye on ‘em boys: here’s Rahill Jamalifard
We met at an old record store a stone’s throw away from the corner bar in St. Mark’s Place. ‘Asha would have loved it here’, I had told her on the telephone earlier, while staring at the jarring sleeve of Tattoo You someone had hung behind a row of glistening booze bottles. There we were in Manhattan, Rahill and I, while a million miles away, Asha was languishing in his Tehran bedroom daydreaming about Keith Richards.
After penning the story of Asha, my ‘Persian punk poet wrought of fire and stone’, I began looking around here and there for someone who could introduce the kid. In some hole in the wall, I scribbled on a napkin ‘the bill’:
1. Iranian (preferably)
2. Must roll first and rock second
3. Must know how to work an electric guitar
Enter Rahill Jamalifard. If she doesn’t fit the bill, I don’t know who does. Hailing from the city of poets and nightingales in mighty Pars, she’s been strutting her stuff around the boroughs like it’s nobody’s business. Having enjoyed a successful stint with her all-girl group, Habibi, Roya (‘Dream’ in Persian) is her latest gig. She’s recorded with Sean Lennon, hung out backstage with a topless Lady Gaga, and been called the ‘Iranian Nan Goldin’ (she can work a camera, too). Roya’s debut album is scheduled for release later this year, so I won’t get to share the juicy demos Rahill has sent me; but you can, for now, listen to this conversation of ours about her music degenerate into one about Iranian supermarkets, washed-up pop stars, and chelo kabab.
Cover image courtesy Tony Farfalla (Instagram: @tony_farfalla).