Q&A With Andy: Our Community, Our Youth, and his Voice

By Saina Bailey

Aug. 11, 2010, Los Angeles, CA – Andy, declared best Iranian Singer of the 90s by Universal Studios, is a long time friend of PAAIA; he collaborated with the 2010 Census Coalition and attended PAAIA’s Passing the Torch of Success in New York last April. We like him a lot, and in a moment of inspiration, took the opportunity to chat with him.  He talked to us about music and more. Here it is.

Q: Give us an inside scoop of what you are doing these days?

Right now my single release “Madaram”, is number one on Radio Javan and I hear that the volume of downloads is causing technical strains on their website! I’ll be singing this song at my upcoming concert at the Bren Event Center in Irvine, August 21st.  You can download “Madaram” for free from my website.

Q: What is the significance of this song and how is it being received?

I wrote this song for my mother who passed away three years ago. Although it is a sad song, it has touched a lot of people.  I’ve received multiple e-mails from fans.  One fan said that this song helped him deal with the loss of his mother last year; others are calling or visiting their moms to tell them how much they love them.  I am grateful that this song is helping and reconnecting people. 

Q: What role did your mother play in your career?

She was my biggest fan and number one supporter.  Our parents are the best teachers and we are reflections of them.  My mother is the main reason I was able to follow my dreams.

Q: What are your thoughts about the Iranian American Community?

The global success of an individual contributes to the image of his/her nation.  What I mean is, when you think Beatles, you immediately think England, just as Pele is brings up Brazil in our minds.  These individuals contribute to the image of their society.  The world’s opinion of a community depends on the world’s opinion of its individuals; so highlighting the success of Iranian Americans in the Diaspora helps shape a positive picture of our community.  

Q: What is your advice to our PAAIA Nex/Gen readers?

Before I speak about that I want to say that I’m a big supporter of PAAIA.  First and foremost, if we don’t support each other no one else will.  Secondly, as Iranians this is the first time we are experiencing being a minority group.  We don’t have the support system and community ties that our fellow Jewish and Armenians have developed throughout history.  We are still learning what it means to support each other.   

The sooner we start supporting one another, especially our youth, the sooner we will be in a position of leadership within the broader American community.  We need to teach our youth how to work together.   So my advice to our young Iranian Americans is to work with each other, support one another, and work to build a strong community and voice here in America so we can help all Iranians, especially those in Iran.

Q: Do you mean on a political level?

Not political because governments come and go but on a humanitarian level we need to help each other whether in the US, Iran, or around the world.

Andy, thank you for sharing your time with us.  I look forward to seeing you perform “Madaram” next week.

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