Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

I used to start a lot of live shows with a cover of this, a capella, because I wanted to invoke my family and my grandmother inside the shows I was doing. Sima Bina is an Iranian musician, she comes from the region of my family, Khorasan, which is in the north-east of Iran next to Afghanistan. She dedicated her life to studying folk music from that region, being an ethno-musician almost. Music from that region was almost all oral, so she spent her life travelling and meeting people, collecting songs and re-orchestrating, re-singing and recording them. She’s a friend of my family, so she used to be around at my grandmother and grandfather’s house when I was growing up. It’s my solid heritage music pillar from birth. I love the lyrics, ‘Majnoon Naboudam’ means “I wasn’t crazy”. Love songs in Farsi – Farsi in general, actually – is a very dramatic and emotionally loaded language. Emotions are expressed in everyday interactions, even when you go and buy bread there’s a lot of stuff like “I will eat my heart for you”. It’s very baroque emotionally. This song is a very dramatic love story, and it’s kind of like my earliest mother. She’s a very important person that I call to, and she’s with me in all my shows. I invoke her as much as I can – when I want to I become a container and make space in myself for her. It helps me feel anchored and put my two feet on the ground.


The Quietus Digest

Sign up for our free Friday email newsletter.

Support The Quietus

Our journalism is funded by our readers. Become a subscriber today to help champion our writing, plus enjoy bonus essays, podcasts, playlists and music downloads.

Support & Subscribe Today