Iranian protest song by singer-songwriter Shervin Hajipour, which has become the anthem of the current uprising, has flooded the submission box for the Grammys’ newest special award category.
The song “Baraye...” -- which means “For the Sake Of” in Persian -- received 95,000, or over 83 percent, of the 115,000 total submissions for the award following a campaign on TikTok urged users to nominate the song, which is the de-facto manifesto of the protests.
It has been reuploaded to YouTube and other social media platforms, and “was used by Iranians all over the world as a rallying cry,” a crowdsourced guide for nominating the song for a Grammy says.
The special merit award is meant to honor a song “that has had a profound social influence and impact,” the Recording Academy said on its website. Submissions are open through October 14.
The Recording Academy was “deeply moved” by the social media campaign, Chief Executive Officer Harvey Mason, Jr. said in an e-mailed statement. “While we cannot predict who might win the award, we are humbled by the knowledge that the Academy is a platform for people who want to show support for the idea that music is a powerful catalyst for change.”
Hajipour, who shared his song amid the protests over Mahsa Amini’s death in custody of hijab police, was himself arrested and released on bail and later was banned from leaving Iran on charges of anti-regime propaganda and inciting violence. He composed the song from tweets and other social-media posts from protestors commemorating Mahsa Amini.