Niyaz :: Niyaz

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Niyaz Front Cover

Originally posted on Epinions

Other Niyaz Albums:
Nine Heavens by Niyaz

Niyaz is a comparatively new band that I stumbled on on Pandora. They’ve been in the World Music and Trance scene for about 5 years now. This is their self-titled debut album, which established them with a great standing and quite a sizeable fan base.

Niyaz’s repertoire includes songs based on poems by medieval Persian, Turkish, and Indian Sufi philosophers, like Mevlana Rumi and Amir Khosrau Dehlavi. Born of Persian descent, Azam Ali — the lead vocal — grew up in India, and finally settled in the USA. She has been a member of the “alternative world” band Vas, which really established her as a skilled vocal performer. Loga Ramin Torkian, her husband, is a major force behind the formation of Niyaz, and plays multiple instruments, including Persian zither, lute, and guitar.


In my opinion, Niyaz’s is the first successful attempt at introducing Sufi subject matter in a World Music setting. Many of the tracks in their debut album talk about the spiritual connection between God and men, and about love in a very philosophical way. Even if you do not understand the Farsi, Turkish, or Hindi/Urdu lyrics, you’ll find yourself moved by the exotic rhythms and Azam Ali’s uniquely “yearning” vocal performances. Of course, once you start reading the translations, you’ll experience the hidden treasure that is Sufi poetry.

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