The south of Iran has its own culture influenced both by African and Arabic culture, a distinct dialect and its own strong musical traditions especially based on rhythms.
Damahi formed in Brazil, during a trip of a dozen of young Iranian musicians to support the Iranian national soccer team in the 2014 World Cup and perform there, in collaboration with Dara Daraee, a professional sideman and session bass player who has the experience of contributing to different bands and projects in diverse styles.
The Idea of southern music of Iran and its connection to Afro music was with Dara for a couple of years. After traveling to the southern city of Bandar Abbas and Hormoz island and meeting Reza Koolaghani (vocal) and Ebrahim Alavi (acoustic guitar & oud) the Idea of this music took shape.
Hamzeh Yeganeh, as well, an experienced jazz and rock keyboad and piano player along with Shayan Fathi, a talented drummer and percussionist with a reputation as a jazz musician then joined the project.
World fusion music of Damahi is a blend of southern rhythms and melodies of Hormozgan province on the coast of Persian Gulf, groovy bass lines and jazzy electric piano smoothed with gloomy oud melodies and words in Bandari dialect. They translate the southern folk songs to the contemporary form which is familiar and new at the same time.
In the southern Iranian mythology, there was a giant deep-fish that inhabited the seas and local people called it “Damahi”. It was the provider of homeless people on the coasts and savior of fishermen stuck in the storm and companion of lovers. Damahi the symbol of Utopia filled with happiness and music-blessing.
Damahi’s debut self-titled album was just released on September 5th. “Mahalleye Khamooshan” (محله خاموشان), or “Neighborhood of Sleepers”, was released as the group’s first single ten months ago.
It is based on a folk song by Nasrok, an old wandering lyricist from more than half century ago who was putting people’s life into folk songs. This well-arranged song gets its soul from oud riffs and melodies played by Ebrahim and the deep and warm voice of Reza.