In Kyiv, Arash and his 13-strong musical team promise a show packed with pyrotechnic special effects to accompany his greatest hits – Broken Angel, Always, She Makes Me Go, Temptation, Boro Boro, and Russian songs – Oriental Tales and The Sea.
Arash has released three successful albums, the self-titled Arash in 2005, Crossfade the following year and 2008’s Donya, as well as numerous singles, which have gained platinum status. His compositions are always European chart-toppers, his videos garner millions of views on YouTube, and he is particularly beloved by fans in the Eastern European space. He’s not only a successful singer, but a dancer, actor, composer and producer whose success continues to build. The 35-year old tells What’s On why.
Last year was a big year for you, tell us a little about your collaboration with Jamaican Grammy-winning artist Sean Paul.
Last year, I travelled and toured a lot, but I did manage to record a couple of songs. One of them, She Makes Me Go, was recorded together with Sean Paul. I’ve always liked reggae and dance music and have been a fan of his for 12 years. When I wrote this song I told my manager, “I want Sean Paul”. He replied: “Maybe Akon or Pitbull are better?” I said, “No, I only want Sean Paul.” I got what I wanted and I’m very proud of it. The song is on the top of European charts. Fans from France, Germany, Japan and Ukraine are writing to me saying they are waiting for new duets and I won’t let them down – I’m already working on a new hit!
And your film debut in Rhino Season, it’s billed as “a love story in the context of the political changes from before the Iranian revolution to the present”. Tell us about that and the differences between music and acting.
Writing songs and performing live has become an evitable part of who I am – this is my life. Acting gave me not only new impressions, but it was also a breath of fresh air. Of course, it felt unusual to follow the director’s instructions and do what’s written in the script.
You worked with the beautiful Italian actress Monica Bellucci on this film, what’s she like?
Monica supported me a lot at the shoots and helped me get into character. It’s always interesting to try something new, especially when you work with the greatest people in world cinema.
How would you describe your sound?
It is music that brings love, happiness and joy to people. When I say in the sad moments of my life I write music, it doesn’t mean I write sad songs. It might be a very life-assuring song. In this state (sad) your emotions escalate. If one of my songs makes someone smile then my job is done.
What are your musical influences?
I love rock, reggae, and I follow modern dance music trends. Lenny Kravitz is one of my favourite singers. Have you seen PSY’s video (Gangnam Style)? With his dance he made the world go crazy. I’ve prepared a special performance of this song that I plan to showcase in Palace Ukraine on 26 April!
How has your music evolved over time?
I write contemporary music, but it’s uniquely me. I always try to be myself in my work, as you’ll never feel the love of the audience if they feel you’re artificial. My music always has eastern motives because these rhythms are in my blood.
You sing mostly in your native language, why?
I sing most of my songs in Farsi because this language reflects my mood and spiritual state more precisely. Julio Iglesias, for example, sings in Spanish, no one understands him but they all love him. You should believe in your songs. I try to mix English and my native language in my songs, like in Broken Angel. The fact that I sing in my native language differentiates me from others. If I turned to English now, I would be just like any other act.
Is this likely to change?
At Eurovision, I sang my song Always in English and the song She Makes Me Go is written in English top. Sometimes I am inspired to write songs in English but I don’t do it on purpose. I follow my heart.
Palace Ukraine (V Vasylkivska 103)
26 April at 19.00
Tickets: 100 – 1,500hrv