Aref standing in front of a graffitied wall, facing the left and staring into the distance.
man with sunglasses standing in front of graffiti wall
Aref leaning against a graffitied wall, stretching his palm towards the camera.

دیگر سایه ای در کار نیست (No More Shadows)

Aref Ghorbani

image: Image by Najma Abukar

No More Shadows is the first EP release from Iranian singer and musician Aref Ghorbani. For Aref, it is not just an EP. It’s a profound journey of self-discovery, liberation, and cultural fusion.

‘As an Iranian refugee musician, I have endured the stifling grip of censorship, restricting the expression of my art. Now, in Scotland, supported by the Scottish Refugee Council, I stand on the precipice of a new chapter—one where the shackles of fear are finally broken.’

This EP marks a transformative period in Aref’s musical evolution. Departing from his roots in Iranian classical and folk music, he fearlessly explores diverse genres, expanding his horizons and venturing beyond the confines of his comfort zone.

Cultural collaboration is at the heart of this project. Aref described working with talented Scottish musicians, like Calum Ingram, as an “invaluable experience” which has taught him about the adaptability of music and the beautiful harmonies that can emerge when different cultures merge.

The tracks unveil personal stories and historical entanglements. One special track, Jome Bazaar (Friday Market), sung in his mother tongue, Gilaki, acts as a vessel for the rich cultural heritage of his province and a testament to the resilience of his people.

‘I unintentionally discovered the connection between Polish refugees and my city during World War II. Pahlevi, a city near my birthplace, welcomed Polish refugees fleeing from the Soviet Union, leaving an indelible mark on the region. The song’s hauntingly familiar Polish melody resonates deeply within me, bridging the gap between distant lands and illustrating the shared human experience of displacement.’

With No More Shadows, Aref seeks to illuminate the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. This album encapsulates not only his personal journey but also the collective journey of countless refugees who, like him, have found solace and strength in their pursuit of artistic expression.

‘May the melodies and stories within this album weave a tapestry of hope, unity, and the enduring power of music to transcend boundaries and connect hearts.’

No More Shadows is now available on BandCamp and YouTube. Aref will celebrate the EP launch with a live performance followed by a Q&A on the 29 November at Drygate, Glasgow. Tickets are available on a sliding scale here. All £15 ticket holders will receive a free download of the EP and all proceeds go towards the performing artists. We will be providing free tickets to people in the asylum process directly. Please get in touch with us for more details. 

About Aref

Aref Ghorbani is an Iranian classically trained musician who came to Scotland as a refugee in 2018. He is a key member of the Musicians in Exile community project, which brings together asylum-seeking and refugee musicians in Glasgow and won the 2019 Scotland’s National Diversity Award for Community Organisation: Race, Faith, Religion.