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Digital Cover Featuring Arash

Arabian Moda x Arash
Arash wears a suit by Zaid Farouki.

Arash is a name that resonates with many music lovers in the Middle East. With his unique style and infectious beats, he has become a household name in the region's music scene. Arash's talent has taken him from his humble beginnings in Iran to the international stage. He has released numerous hits, collaborated with various artists, and won several awards.

Arabian Man Moda features singing sensation Arash who explores his journey from a young boy with a passion for music, to a superstar in the global music industry.

Fashion Editor & Stylist: Victor Concepto - Photographer & Producer: Shiva Rasti - Filmmaker : Miled Daher - Makeup Artist: Natalia Bokan - Location: Sweden Beach Palace Dubai, UAE.

AM: When did you decide to be a singer?
I moved from Iran with my family to Sweden when I was about nine years old. In my family everybody loves to sing. My mom and dad have really good singing voices and my dad always played music in the house so I naturally became very interested. I remember when I got to Sweden, I started watching MTV, back in the day it was huge. I loved the way the music videos were showcased, it fascinated me.

One of the songs that really stuck with me was by Queen’s Freddie Mercury who sang “I Want It All” and because I didn't speak English, I thought he sang “I Want Iran”. He looked Persian to me and I thought he couldn't go back to Iran either. It took me years to realize he wasn't signing about Iran. I remember when I was 10, for Christmas, everyone wanted Nintendos, but for me I really wanted a keyboard. I’d listen to the songs on MTV and try to play them. I had a very good musical ear. After a week of listening to a song I could play it and that’s how I figured out that I had a talent for music. At first, I didn't take it seriously, but when I was 15, we started a band called Stereo Injection. We did dance music, we weren't very good but we did our best. We only wanted to be popular and performed in night-clubs on weekends, we thought it was very cool. It was our chance to perform and party.

AM: Would you say your upbringing in Sweden has affected your musical preferences?
It has for sure. What most people don’t know is that Sweden ranks third in countries with the best producers. All the songs we listen to in our childhood are made by Swedish producers, they recorded albums for Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys, all of them in Stockholm. I love doing crossovers in music, I try to make the east and west meet. I grew up with Eastern music at home which is close to my heart so I wanted to find something in between.

Arabian Moda x Arash

AM: What are your main sources of inspiration when you work on new music?
I don’t try to follow trends because this is when I feel like there is a loss of identity, you become a drop in the ocean. I always try to be creative and try things that professional people say you can’t do. There is no right or wrong in music. I can get inspiration in a club or when I'm showering. I then record my ideas on my phone and try to do it in the studio. I like to go back in time for inspiration, every period has its own charm. I try to do my own thing with my own touch.

AM: And what roles does Persian music play in this?
I grew up with this genre of music but I don’t follow what works there. My mentality has changed but I do like to try and go back in time to those beautiful memories of my parents singing beautiful melodies. This is mostly my source of inspiration when it comes to Persian music.

AM: How is your creative process like?
I don’t have any specific rituals, it’s only about being in the right mood. Even when I'm sad; I think I could create a fantastic slow song, if I am happy then I could do a crazy fun song. It’s about your feelings and that’s how I create music. Today a lot of artists don’t create albums anymore, they just release singles. When I perform during my concerts, I try to feel the audience to understand if they need a happier or sadder song.

Arabian Moda x Arash
Suit, Zaid Farouki.

AM: Looking back, what would you say were the main elements that contributed to your current success?
The key was the love of making music. If someone loves their job, they become the luckiest person in the world.

AM: Were you ever aiming for an international success that transcends Iran?
After my first single, I realized that most of the people in the studio were Swedish, they didn't understand the lyrics and had a hard time differentiating the Persian language from Indian or Arabic. This is how I knew I wanted to do international music and make a crossover.

AM: In your opinion, what do Iranian talents need to make it on a wider scale?
The environment and culture you are in affects your music and your perception of the world. Persians see things differently, what they consider to be international for some isn’t necessarily international for others. In my opinion, they should live in different places or travel as much as possible to grasp a better understanding of the audiences that have never listened to Middle Eastern music.

Arabian Moda x Arash

AM: You have performed in front of high-profile personalities and thousands of spectators. What kind of events are more challenging for you as an artist?
I’ve done a lot of private shows over the years and have performed in the homes of presidents and their guests. I find them to be harder. It’s a very small and special audience so I get more nervous even if it’s just 10 individuals compared to 100,000 people. It’s always fun and I love being challenged.

AM: A proud career moment?
One of them was my first single released in Sweden by Warner Bros. It was very strange for them and they bet on me, they really believed in me and said it would be number one within the first week. It ended up staying number one for five weeks. 

AM: Tell us more about your stay in Dubai, what do you like the most about the Emirates?
My family and I love Dubai. It’s fun, safe and sunny. For a person who spent more than 30 years in Sweden, we didn't see as much sunshine. Dubai is very close to our hearts, we’re happy we moved here. I even released a song called One Night in Dubai that ended up becoming a hit in the region and on Tiktok.


AM: You have recently been vocal about women’s rights in Iran. Why did you decide to express your opinion at this point of time?
What’s happening in Iran has not only inspired and moved me, but the entire world too. These brave young women are fighting for their basic human rights, and they’re doing so while risking everything. As an Iranian raised in Sweden, I believe it’s my duty to support them any way I can, and as an artist, I think the best tool I could offer is my platform that I’ve been blessed with.

AM: What is a message of encouragement you would send to women in Iran?
I’d tell them to stay united and keep inspiring and know that they have everyone’s support. All over the world people are showing their support. As a man, I must say I’m proud to see how Iranian men, young and old, have joined this movement and continue to stand behind the women who are leading the way.

AM: Finally, what are some new projects in the works?My last movie was 10 years ago with Monica Bellucci, it was dark and artistic, and soon I will be in a new movie with the same director and Martin Scorsese will be the producer. It’s going to be fun because I love acting, I wouldn't call myself an actor because I'm not very good at it, but I will have a small role.
I’ll also release three new songs in the near future.
I enjoy, and will continue living my life to the fullest.