COP International Records Announces Signing Of Azam Ali
Electro-Ambient Producer & Singer Has Storied Career Including Co-Founding World Music Duo Vas & Folk/Trance Group Niyaz, Plus Collaborations And Shared Stages With Serj Tankian, Peter Murphy & The Crystal Method
Upcoming Album Will Be A Collaboration With The Legendary John Fryer, To Be Released In 2021 During COP International’s 30th Anniversary Year
(Photo Credit: Azam Ali)
COP International Records is pleased to announce the signing of accomplished sonic architect Azam Ali to its growing roster of artists. Coming off her 2019 solo album Phantoms, which Billboard hails as “ripe with dreamy sounds and melancholic lyrics, bridg[ing] the gap between organic and electronic with grooves that gently ground the songs,” Los Angeles-based Ali is currently working on her debut for COP International alongside the legendary John Fryer for a fully collaborative album that will also feature Fryer’s musicianship. Fryer—whose production credits include Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails and Love & Rockets—also acts as COP International’s A&R agent and signed Ali in late 2020.
Azam Ali has an incredibly diverse career as a singer and producer, first forming the best selling world music duo Vas in 1996 and co-founding the Canadian-American electro-folk group Niyaz in 2004, which went on to be nominated for two JUNO Award Nominations. The latter group was a forebearer of contemporary Middle Eastern music combining acoustic sounds and modern electronica with medieval Sufi poetry and traditional folk from her native Iran. The music’s incredible power captivated fans the world over, leading to critical acclaim from NPR and BBC, global tours and showcases in major film and television productions including “True Blood,” “Missing,” “Nip Tuck,” “Bones” and “Crossing Over.”
Her incredible and sweeping vocal range has also led to Ali being sought out for collaborations in the studio and on stage with Serj Tankian (System Of A Down), Peter Murphy (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 and more. As well, Ali has worked with a range of composers such as Harry Gregson- Williams, Mychael Danna, Graeme Revell and Ramin Djawadi and has appeared in scores for “Thor- The Dark World,” “Matrix- Revolutions,” “300” and “John Carter,” among others.
While much of her career has focused on Indian, Persian and Eastern European singing techniques, Phantoms was the first album with fully English lyrics, expanding Ali’s fan base even more and further establishing her as one of the best singers in the industry today.
Of her signing to COP International Records, Azam Ali says, “2020 was a year of loss for so many globally, however there were also some precious gains. One of them for me has been producing music with the legendary John Fryer, whose productions have been a part of my life for decades. It is beyond a dream come true to be creating a body of work with him. And what better home for this music than COP International. From my first conversation with founder Christian Petke, I knew I wanted to collaborate with him for the release of this music into the world. I cannot wait to share what we are creating with everyone."
John Fryer adds, “Working with the legendary siren Azam Ali is like a dream come true, she is one of the best vocalists in this universe and beyond. It's one of those special moments that you hope will last forever.”
Expanding further, COP International founder Christian Petke sees the signing of Azam Ali to the roster as a prime example of how the industrial-leaning label looks to expand into new sonic territory in 2021, which happens to be the label’s 30th anniversary: “When John Fryer and I started to talk in earnest about the future of COP International we pretty much immediately opened up the format. We want a label that has roots, but is broad enough to bridge the gaps between genres. It is an audacious endeavor, because the bar is high when you look at Mute or 4AD as a role model. And of course we have our secret weapon with John Fryer. Every band that he produces has a unique character. They sound like the best version of themselves. But there is also an undeniable quality in the production that connects them across the label,” he says, adding, “Signing Azam Ali makes perfect sense if you look through this open lens. She transcends the term vocalist—her voice seduces, nurtures, and captivates you like one of the siren’s of Homer’s Tales. John sent me a track of theirs and I was immediately hooked. The more I dug into her back catalog the more I was impressed. Some voices have that special magical quality and Azam can carry you away on a wave of sorrow, desire and wistfulness. Pairing Azam and John is a match made in heaven. Her ethereal voice meets the fuzzy edges of John's deconstructed, distorted soundscapes. Music is a bit like alchemy—you take elements and transmute them into something far more valuable, and Azam and John are turning lead into gold.”
More announcements and releases from Azam Ali/John Fryer and COP International will be forthcoming in 2021.
Azam Ali and John Fryer signing her contract with COP International (photo credit: Loga Ramin Torkian)
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