Feature by Jamar Thrasher (@JamarThrasher)
When For The Hopeful drops sometime this Spring, Azad Right hopes to finally show the world more of his artistic capabilities. The project, which will be released as a free album, has more samples than his debut album, The Time is Right.
“As an artist it took a minute to find my voice,” Azad said. Azad said he found inspiration in the events around him and the events happening in the world. He wanted to lend his voice to those who are less heard.
“I’m the voice of the voiceless,” Azad said. The California rapper is a first generation America. His parents fled Iran and he has relatives scattered throughout the world. Azad said he knows that an Iranian-American rapper isn’t common but he wants to gain attention through the caliber and quality of music he creates, not by anything else, but he doesn’t shy away from how his heritage influenced him.
“My name means freedom. I grew up with a great perspective with a very open mind, a freedom to believe in whatever,” Azad said. Azad’s father and mother were both instrumental in shaping his world view. His political activist father is a poet and his mother encouraged him to pursue the arts, which came in the form of piano lessons. When his parents eventually divorced, Azad Right was introduced to hip-hop through his mother’s boyfriend at the time. His aunt also had a boyfriend who introduced him to hip-hop.
“I remember being introduced to hip-hop and spicy chips while riding in the car with them,” Azad said reflecting on the influence of both men. As he grew, he dabbled in music, performing shows in high school and when he graduated from UC-Irvine with a major in political science he decided to step out on faith and pursue his career full time. The leap wasn’t done without thought. He strategically applied for an internship at Interscope Records. Through that internship he was able to learn the music industry and began to set his sights on the prize.
“Contrary to popular belief there are a lot of sacrifices,” Azad Right said, of his venture in music. He said he could have gone for a career as a lawyer, but deep down inside, music is his passion. This unwavering courage comes from his father, who along with being a poet, is also blind.
His father would take him to different open mic venues and would receive praise from other poets. Azad saw how great talent allows an artist to embrace an audience. “Seeing that early on was what taught me to hone my skills,” Azad recalled.
In an early song, “Spiderwebs,” Azad raps about the sacrifices he had to make in order to chase his dreams. He had to end romantic relationships and had to even stand up to his mother who suggested he have a Plan B to his burgeoning rap career.
He said now he just wants to be a rapper who makes good music and gives out positive energy, because supporting a person’s dreams is the best thing a person can do.
The forthcoming project is also going to be more robust than his past project. For the Hopeful will have about 12 tracks and there are corresponding music videos for about half of the tracks. Until For The Hopeful drops, you can check out his past release The Time Is Right on iTunes and check out more info on the artist here: http://azadright.com