In a career which spans over fifteen years, includes thirteen collaborative and solo albums, two prestigious Canadian JUNO Award nominations, and one Hollywood Music Award, Azam Ali has confirmed her place as one of the most prolific, versatile, and gifted singers, producers and composers on the international stage today.
Born in Iran, raised in an English boarding school in India since the age of four, & currently based in Los Angeles, Azam first became internationally recognized for her work with Vas, the best selling world music duo she co-founded in 1996. From 1997-2004 Azam released four albums with Vas on the Narada music label. Today, her most notable work is with the electronic/acoustic group Niyazwhich she co-founded in 2004. Described by the Huffington Post as “an evolutionary force in contemporary Middle Eastern music, Niyaz (which means “yearning”), pioneered a global trance tradition by seamlessly blending medieval Sufi poetry and folk songs from their native Iran and its surrounding countries in the Persian Gulf, with rich acoustic instrumentation and modern electronics. Today with four best selling and critically acclaimed albums released on Six Degrees Records, all of which have debuted at #1 on iTunes and garnered the band an incredible amount of media attention including features on NPR, BBC and PRI, Niyaz continues to tour internationally and build on its impressive and loyal fan base worldwide. Since 2005 Niyaz has performed in the United States, Canada, France, England, Japan, Germany, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, Bulgaria, India, Dubai, Mexico, Slovenia, Italy, Portugal, Croatia, Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia and Austria. Their music has also been featured in several major film and television scores, which include, True Blood, Missing, Nip Tuck, Bones and Crossing Over.
Aside from her ensemble work, Azam has released four acclaimed solo albums, “Portals of Grace”(2002), “Elysium for the Brave” (2006), “From Night to the Edge of Day” (2011) that earned her a prestigious JUNO Award nomination in Canada, & her critically acclaimed opus “Phantoms” (2019).
Azam’s immense talent and ability to adapt her voice to any musical style have drawn the attention of many diverse artists. Azam has collaborated in studio and on stage with Serj Tankian of System of a Down, Peter Murphy of Bauhaus, The Crystal Method, Pat Mastellato and Trey Gunn of King Crimson, Dredg, Chris Vrenna formerly of Nine Inch Nails, Ben Watkins of Juno Reactor, Buckethead, Steve Stevens, Mercan Dede, the world renowned Japanese group Kodo, Zakir Hussain, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, and Mickey Hart with whom she also toured for two years as a lead singer in his group Bembe Orisha.
Aside from Azam’s work as a recording and touring artist, she has contributed to major film and Television soundtracks in Hollywood. She has worked with renowned film composers such as Harry Gregson-Williams, Mychael Danna, Graeme Revell, Ramin Djawadi, Brian Tyler, Michael Giachinno, Christopher Young, Tyler Bates, Jeff Rona etc. Azam’s distinctive voice can be heard on myriad film and television scores among which include “Thor- The Dark World”, “Matrix- Revolutions”, “Prince of Persia- The Sands of Time”, “300”, “Godsend”, “The Priest”, “John Carter”, “Papparazi”, “The Nativity Story”, “Speed Racer”, “Lara Croft- Tomb raider”, “The Fight Club”, “Season of the witch”, “Children of Dune”, “Earthsea”, “Dawn of the Dead”, “True Blood”, “Alias”, “The Agency, and “Prison Break”.
Azam has also made major vocal and musical contributions to several big video games which include “Uncharted 3,” “Call of Duty,” “Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands,” “Darksiders,”& “Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow”, for which she won “Best Original Song” at the Hollywood Music Awards in 2007.
Azam’s is currently touring & holding artist residencies with NIYAZ at some of the top universities in America with their cutting-edge immersive, multisensory show “The Fourth Light Project,” which was created incollaboration with interactive designer/ visual artist Jerome Delapierre.
This groundbreaking multi-media experience, combines live musical and dance performance with interactive technologies and advanced projection/ body-mapping techniques that respond to sound and movement in real time. The end result creates a new kind of Digital Scenography and live musical experience, one in which virtual and real space merge to create an illusionistic three-dimensional environment that eliminates the distance between the audience and performers. This seamless synthesis of sound, space, image and light, actually invites the audience inside the art to share in a unique narrative and multi-sensory experience.
Since its debut at Cinars in Montreal, Canada in the fall of 2016, “The Fourth Light Project” has been presented in some of the most prestigious Performing Arts Centers throughout America such as, the legendary Strathmore in Washington, Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts in New York City, Hancher Center for the Arts in Iowa, and Walton Arts Center in Arkansas. The show was also a featured event at the Asia Expo in Astana, Kazakhstan in 2017 as well as the stunning cathedral Les Dominicains de Haute- Alsace, in Guebwiller, France in Jan, 2018.