Tehranto explores the extremes of life as an early twenty year old in the 2010s. Themes of self-identity, mental illness, isolation, love, lust, perseverance, and pride are explored in depth. Often themes are fleshed out through the highlighting of extreme duality. The goal of each song is to raise a question in the listener, similar to the late works of Stanley Kubrick.
The instrumentation throughout the project is lively and malleable. Often sonic pallets are chosen to reflect or juxtapose the theme. Afta’s songwriting follows traditional pop music, with catchy hooks and melodies to infiltrate the listeners psyche, while also displaying laser focus in his verses. Afta’s background is in Hip Hop music from the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Nas, and other lyricists; this is often reflected in witty one liners and concise verses.
The influence for this album was the “Golden Age of Iranian Pop Music” (Spanning 1965-1979). This often forgotten era was intentionally buried by the islamic state of Iran as it predated the Iranian revolution. The sound of the golden age is one of psychedelics, and heartbreak. A reflection of the times, these artists spoke of vulnerability through abstract poetic writing. The artists from this era were forever immortalized as the Iranian islamic revolution (1979) broke up their ability to write, perform, or release music.
In an age of simple songwriting, surface level examinations of topics, and repetitive production, Tehranto aims to achieve the mark of a “Classic.” Tehranto is an exploration into free expression, self actualization, and interpersonal relations; whilst holding a mirror to the listener. This album is a sonic charcuterie board of instrumentals ranging from bone chilling, simple and cold, to maximalist, lush, and breathtaking. Afta’s attention to detail makes for a captivating 40 minute listening experience.