|Label||Universal Music GmbH|
Sedonia are an Austrian operatic pop trio, consisting of three sopranos; Nasrin Asgari, Shirin Asgari and Nazanin Ezazi.
Shirin, Nasrin, and Nazanin come from Tehran. Together they are Sedonia and they interpret songs from James Bond movies. Nasrin, Shirin and Nazanin add their very individual as well as wonderfully personal touch to fantastic songs like “Golden Eye”, “You Only Live Twice”, and of course “The World Is Not Enough”.
Classical music meets Pop with oriental timbre, wonderful choirs as well as modern sounds and arrangements. The mysticism of One Thousand and One Nights and their three voices are interwoven into a sound experience that takes listeners on a very special musical journey. It is fairly save to say that James Bond would definitely ditch any Martini for this. Forget all about “shaken, not stirred”.
The Persian word “Sedonia” stands for “triumvirate”, for three universes. Persian universes. Shirin, Nasrin, and Nazanin discovered their name together. After discussing dozens of potential names “Sedonia” seemed to have come to all three of them at the same time, as if that name was sent from stars. Even though finding that name was not a deliberate act, the deep inner connection between the three artists is well reflected in this name.
Shirin, a talented painter, had painted her sister Nasrin, her cousin Nazanin, and herself and expressed the universal power of “Sedonia” in this painting. It shows those three young women together, holding hands, with the stars above them. The stars watch over Shirin, Nasrin, and Nazanin, the three Persians who truly had more than their share of hard times. Today, this painting is hanging in the offices of their record company.
Shirin, Nasrin, and Nazanin come from Tehran. The Iranian capital is not exactly known as a place where female confidence finds a lot of fertile ground for independent development. When you are a creative and highly talented girl and your true passion is music it becomes even twice as hard. When you study music as a young woman in a male-dominated theocracy it is difficult to actually live your dream - to put it mildly. Governed by rules, prohibitions, and penalties, one lives in a constant state of fear. If you have already experienced the severity of these rules and laws first-hand just because you were at a party and enjoyed yourself a little - even the idea of a carefree youth becomes inconceivable. This shock will haunt you for the rest of your life.
The two sisters Shirin and Nasrin left Tehran together. They were fleeing and turned their backs to their home country to find their future somewhere else. Since their early childhood they were used to playing music and practiced playing piano and violin for hours every day for their dream, which nurtured a certain kind of freedom in their minds. Their dream and goal was to overcome their hurdles and become internationally successful with their music.
In 1999 they secretly got visas for Austria, packed their bags and left Iran. On the day before they left they told their parents about their plans. “Our father was sure that we would be back in three months”, but that was not the case. When they arrived in Austria they did not speak any German and went straight to the university.
Well, to universities, to be precise. They struggled to find their way in Graz and Vienna. They used their savings to share an apartment with other students and when their savings were depleted they started working as au pairs parallel to their studies. Their residence permits were only valid as long as they studied at a university. Without a place at a university they would have had to go back to Iran - and that was simply not an option!
Their cousin Nazanin shared a similar fate. Since she was a little girl she has been trained to play the hammered dulcimer and attended a secondary music school. This institution is the only one of its kind that survived the revolution and was not closed down by the government. Nazanin’s family always supported the little girl’s appreciation of art. Before the Cultural Revolution her grandfather was a famous actor and her parents were very determined to provide the best possible education for their daughter – but only in their home country. A stay abroad was out of the question but Nazanin could not be dissuaded. Nazanin used to sing with the two sisters in a choir when they were kids, since women and girls were allowed to sing in choirs in Iran. Those three girls knew each other but went separate ways, just to meet again later on.
During a performance at the German embassy, the ambassador noticed the great voice of this young woman and subsequently facilitated her departure to Germany. When she arrived in Cologne, Nazanin first had to find a job to ensure a steady source of income while knocking on every door of the city’s University of Music. It was very hard for her to realise that her voice would not be enough to study in Cologne. Therefore she moved to Vienna and enrolled in musicology. She did not discard her plan to study voice but first of all it was important to get a university place. She would definitely not go back to Tehran.
She met her cousin Nasrin by coincidence when she crossed Vienna’s Karlsplatz on her way to the university. They had not seen each other for ages and lost touch a long time ago. It was more than surprising for them to meet again in Vienna. But was it really a coincidence? It is said that there are no coincidences and this meeting seems to confirm this way of thinking.
Vienna and Graz have become the new hometowns for these three Persians. They finally found their way due to their strong commitment and diligence.
The fear of being forced to return to Iran was always in the back of their minds as they learned German and trained their voices. It may sound easy to realise one’s dreams over the course of many years but it was a lot of hard work and a textbook example for discipline. Today, all three of them are fully trained opera singers with classical experiences of young artists in the entertainment industry. At first there was a manager from the UK who made big promises that he could not keep. Shirin, Nasrin and Nazanin had to realise that they could only rely on themselves if they wanted to get ahead, and therefore they parted ways with this manager.
In 2012 they had the idea to audition for the RTL TV-Show “Supertalent”. They felt a little uneasy about this because, as they say “we could possibly be shoved into a strange category”. “On the other hand, we wanted to face this reality of a tough reaction from the audience, and be heard by as many people as possible – and “Supertalent” gave us that opportunity”, says Sedonia. And this is exactly what happened. The jury and the audience brought the three Persians to the semi-final and the reactions to their performances were consistently positive. The standing ovations from the audience at the show’s venue certainly boosted their confidence as well.
With their voices and their passion they have always gone and will continue to go their own way. They had to endure a lot to realise their wishes, dreams, music and their self-determined lives. All these struggles brought them to where they are today, working on their first album. The recently signed deal with Universal seems to be yet another indicator for Shirin, Nasrin and Nazanin’s bright future.
“Back in Tehran, when we thought about our plans for the future, we always wanted to go out into the world”, say the three women who settled down in Graz and Vienna and will take further steps from their new homes. But the world is not enough when your name means “universe” and therefore Sedonia have a distinctively positive outlook on the future by now. The fear of a religious police, the secret service, and a past that could come back to haunt them has evaporated for the most part. Every now and then there are flashbacks, but by now they can draw their strength from these situations, being fully aware of how far they have already come and how much further they can go – because the world is not enough!
- Nasrin Asgari
- Shirin Asgari
- Nazanin Ezazi
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|2015||"The World Is Not Enough"||—||TBA|