néGar
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néGar

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter

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"néGar - beautiful wrenching music"

neGar: beautiful, wrenching music

néGar is a Toronto-based singer-songwriter with a versatile voice that can be both powerful and stunningly beautiful. She recently released a new EP, which you can hear over at bandcamp.

On top of that, she's giving away too track: "A Woman" and "Off The Ground".

néGar has a number of Toronto shows coming up, including:
The Rivoli, Apr 27
Rancho Relaxo, May 7
Tranzac, May 27
- snobs music


"néGar - beautiful wrenching music"

neGar: beautiful, wrenching music

néGar is a Toronto-based singer-songwriter with a versatile voice that can be both powerful and stunningly beautiful. She recently released a new EP, which you can hear over at bandcamp.

On top of that, she's giving away too track: "A Woman" and "Off The Ground".

néGar has a number of Toronto shows coming up, including:
The Rivoli, Apr 27
Rancho Relaxo, May 7
Tranzac, May 27
- snobs music


"néGar's debut release now out!"

Toronto-based, Iranian-born singer-songwriter néGar’s self-titled debut EP is available now. néGar started working with Goldilocks (the production team Dan Achen and Ian Smith) in the fall of 2009. Two of the songs on the record, “One Minute” and “Faceless Nameless” were started just about the time Dan passed away. The album is dedicated to Dan, and it’s so wonderful to see that’s it now available. Dan would have been proud of the final product.


Also, last summer a video for “Faceless Nameless” was shot here at Catherine North. It’s being used for the trailer for upcoming thriller film called Bluebird. Here is the video. Enjoy. - catherine north


"Interview with Unrated Music"

http://www.unratedmusic.com/interviews/negar/ - Unrated Music


"Sonic Masala Reviews néGar"

Our next artist takes us into a slightly different direction. Négar Mohktassi was born in Tehran, although has spent most of her childhood in either Abu Dhabi or Canada - and the spectre of war and revolution, as well as the obvious divide created by constant shifts in cultural tradions and geography, have loomed large over her life. This personal tumult has resulted in the release of her first musical endeavour, NeGar, a sultry exploration of her own existence, and the role that a person has in the shifting sands of a repressive human condition. Its beautiful, haunting, and very exciting.
- Sonic Masala


"Pure Grain Audio / Faceless, Nameless"

The Skinny: Elemental and elegant. Bluesy and bold. Negar’s lush arrangements and lilting vocals reverberate with the strength and grit of Jim Morrison and Patti Smith. Born in Tehran, Negar moved to Canada at age three, leaving a country torn by revolution and war. She returned to the Middle East at age 11 to live in Abu Dhabi, a city of wealth and repression, that in turn inspired her to express her creativity.

After leaving Abu Dhabi to finish high school in Toronto, Negar formed a few bands and played around town at the Rivoli, the Reverb and other venues. To create her debut album, Negar found an ideal collaborator and mentor in producer Dan Achen, whose sudden passing in early 2010 added another haunting chord to her life, and to whom she dedicates her upcoming five-track CD.

Her passion is evident in the power and beauty of every note she sings. With the launch of her album, top club dates, and her original music featured in an entry to next year’s TIFF, Negar is one to watch. - Pure Grain Audio / Chris


"Duurt-Lang Muziekblog"

Een nieuwe van Negár. Ik verwachtte een rapper, maar niks is minder waar. - Duurt-Lang Muziekblog


"Just an Indie Blog"

Are you in the mood for something eclectic, ambient and from a female vocalist? Well look no further than Negar! The Middle Eastern indie songstress has released her debut, self-titled EP, which holds some stunning tracks; especially "Faceless, Nameless" and "Off The Ground". In some ways, "Off The Ground" on the face of it is a very folky, drum song, which works almost perfectly with her brash, powerful voice. It was as if i was listening the the new Florence + The Machine. . . *Link to Negar's bandcamp profile below* To end this post - Meg Sullivan


"néGar - GIRLYSOUNDS"

It was completely refreshing to hear the music of néGar (born Negar Mokhtassi), whose debut EP, néGar, is a truly remarkable release from what is sure to be the first of many for this talented songwriter.
Born in Tehran, but raised predominantly between Canada and Abu Dhabi, néGar’s creative path was ignited by the repression she witnessed while living in the Middle East.
After teaching herself to play the guitar and inspired by the likes of bands and artists such as Nirvana, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan and Nina Simone, néGar began performing with a few bands in and around Toronto during her college years. And after a time working in advertising as an art director, the songwriter decided to focus her energy and fully embark on her solo music career.

néGar - néGar EP (2011)
BUY: Bandcamp
néGar is the songwriter’s 5-song EP, produced by Ian Smith and the late Dan Achen of the Canadian band, Junkhouse, and to whom she dedicates this stunning batch of captivating songs. Her sound is a complex dose of edgy rock, warm soul and traces of world music.
Standouts include the album’s opener, ‘Off The Ground,’ a beautifully rich song that mixes acoustic guitar and deep percussion to néGar’s satisfyingly hollow voice. The track carries with it a tinge of néGar’s Middle Eastern influences.
‘A Woman’ is a softer and more lulling number, but also strangely eerie, perfectly demonstrating the effect of néGar’s unique voice.
‘By The Sea’ closes the EP with an industrial and gritty experience where néGar’s vocals transform into banshee-like shrieks, recalling the raw energy of earlier works by PJ Harvey.
The bold and stunning ‘Faceless, Nameless,’ also from the EP, is featured for the upcoming film Bluebird.
néGar is currently available as a digital-only download at néGar’s Bandcamp page, but is also scheduled for CD release on February 26. - GIRLYSOUNDS


"MADE interview"

Notice how much better the photo quality is with this interview? That is all thanks to Aaron who is not only our photog, but our programmer and part time bodyguard. He nearly got punched in the face by a crushed velvet and spike wearing bystander while taking shots of the lovely néGar during our interview in Future Bakery. Luckily Aaron was able to show the creepy man that he did not, in fact, want to steal his soul. Or maybe all the stalker-like candids of néGar scared him off? Other than that the interview went brilliantly. I encourage anyone who is reading this to see néGar perform at Bread and Circus on Saturday February 26, you won’t be disappointed!! She is an extremely talented and beautiful person, speaking with her was a pleasure.

Here is part 1 of our 2 part interview. Enjoy!

MADE in 72 hrs: How was your rehearsal today?

néGar: It was really good we did two new songs. One of the new songs I’m working on is a Dusty Springfield cover.If you listen to the original song its very orchestral, and it’s Dusty, you know? So her arms are all over the place and she’s singing it with like this classic style, so I’m trying to keep it classic but I’m also trying to modernize it and have my own take on it. We also had a bassist come in and play with us for the first time. I played with him about a couple of years ago before, and it just really worked, like it clicked.

MADE: That’s great! Bassists are pretty hot, how is he? From 1 to 10? Go on, be honest, for the ladies out there.

N: He’s good, he’s good. I’m lucky I have a good looking band. (laughs)

MADE: What country are you from originally?

N: Originally, I am from Azerbaijan, both of my parents are from Azerbaijan. That is it’s own country but it’s also the — let me not mess this up — it’s the north-western region of Iran. A lot of people think Iran is just Persian, and Farsi is the main language, which isn’t the case. Both my parents speak Azeri, which is a dialect of Turkish, they both went to University in Tehran which is where I was born, and then at 2, I moved over to Toronto.



MADE: What is the biggest cultural difference that you can think of between Azerbaijan and Toronto?

N: Well there is a lot! (laughs) It’s always so hard for me to go into this topic because I kind of bounced all over the place. Sorry, I’m going off topic, but the main difference — which is one of the main reasons why they moved here — was at the time that I was born there was revolution, there was war, there was a lot of repression, especially when it came to women’s rights. Just freedom of speech, and especially how it impacted everyone, not just in the arts, but in every aspect of living there. Unfortunately, a lot of those problems are still there. Are they cultural? I think the bulk of them are political. It can get hard to sometimes differentiate from the two because media as well as politicians like to, kind of, point at religion and say this is a part of our culture and that’s why you’re not allowed to, for example, dress like this or let your hair out, or be a woman and be up on stage and be singing or whatnot. For me I don’t view it as a cultural difference, I think we are all relatively coming from the same place.

MADE: Have you ever performed over there?

N: Actually, when I was 11 I moved to Abu Dhabi, Capital of the Emirates. When I was 15 years old I had my first live performance at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Centre and it was pretty crazy. I was the first kind of Western rock performance in that centre, in that environment. You had a lot of locals front row centre hearing music that they had never really heard before. When I first started writing songs I wasn’t writing with any kind of formula. It started out as just me writing poems, and then I got the guitar, then I started singing, then I started writing songs. It would have been nice to just be in the front row and put myself out of the equation. I would have been like “What is this girl doing?!”. (laughs) It was very out there! It was very experimental for a 15 year old.

MADE: Blackberry or iPhone?

N: iPhone!

MADE: Why?

N: I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I went to OCAD and they kind of made Macs mandatory for us for the design discipline. So maybe because I’m already a Mac user and I’m a designer so it’s kind of more industry standard. It’s more intuitive I find. One of my friends gave me her Blackberry and I tried texting on it, and was like I’m sorry [I can’t do this]. (laughs)


MADE: What is the weirdest performance story you have? The weirdest thing happened? Maybe backstage or onstage?

N: Hmm. There are so many! Which one to choose from? I’m going to take a minute, enter “very long pause”. (laughs) Well it’s kind of hard to say one experience, but I guess the one that pops out in my head is before I went onstage once this guy just lunged at me and tried to grab me, so that kind of shook me before a performance.

MADE: (shocked expressions) Oh my god! (pause) What do you mean? What happened?!




N: The stage area was separated by doors — it was somewhere on Bloor St. I can’t remember the name of the venue — and I was about to walk in through the doors, and he came at me and tried to grab me. Actually a couple of times [he tried to grab me] and then I had to tell the bar, “That guy is trying to do something to me”.

MADE: You need to invest in a bodyguard! (laughs)

N: Yea, it was just like this big guy coming at me with his arms open, and it wasn’t like, “Hey I want a hug”, it was more like drunk aggressive lunge kind of thing.

MADE: What was your inspiration behind “Faceless/Nameless”?

N: “Faceless/Nameless” was inspired instrumentally by a lot of classic traditional persian music. I was working on it, I think it was about 4 years ago. We are in 2011 right?(laughs) I just kind of really evolved with the time. The inspiration for this song was really spirituality. The song is actually about God, but not from a religious standpoint, more of a spiritual standpoint. Like what the meaning of God is and how it may not have a face or a name, you know? It’s just kind of this force that is driving you to pursue a better path. I mean it’s a topic you really can’t escape whether you’re religious or not religious, it’s one of those topics you really can’t escape. I’d like to think that we have all evolved enough that we don’t have to define what we believe in, we don’t have to put a symbol or a name or a face to it. That song was just trying to break all of that down. On a sidenote, it’s being used in an upcoming horror/thriller film that will be submitted for this year’s TIFF. (laughter) So if you have a chance and take a look at the music video, you’ll see what I mean.

MADE: I love that video!



N: It’s funny because I talk about it and you go and look at the music video and you’re like, “What?!”.

MADE: It’s like, “Why is this slutty girl getting murdered?”.

N: And that is the meaning of the song! Moral of the story kids. (laughter)

MADE: What do you think is sexier; a moustache or a beard?

N: Can I say neither? I’m going to go with a beard. As long as it’s not getting to that point where it’s curling and capturing little organisms. We’ll leave it at that.

MADE: What do you find sexier; boxers or briefs?

N: Briefs.

MADE: Solid answer. No hesitation.

N: Whitey tighties all the way!

MADE: What’s the last song you listened to?

N: The last song I listened to, it would have to be — for rehearsal, we were listening to the original Dusty Springfield “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”
- MADE IN 72 HRS


"EXPLORE MUSIC >> THE LIST >> neGar: “Off the Ground”"

She’s originally from Tehran but had to leave because of war and revolution. She now splits her time between Canada and Abu Dhabi. Her first EP (produced by the late Dan Achen) is available now.

Sounds like: Kind of Feist-y.
- ALAN CROSS / EXPLORE MUSIC


"néGar - Off The Ground / New Music Collaborative"

néGar sent me an email that piqued my interest "I grew up splitting my time between Abu Dhabi and Canada. This obvious divide between cultural traditions, and most importantly, the wide spread repression I witnessed throughout the Middle East sparked a desire to explore myself creatively, which led me to music." I think you'll be glad that she found music as her creative outlet when you listen to this song. She has a smokey deep voice that's hard to get out of your head, not unlike Cher and I mean that as a compliment.

I chose "Off the ground" simply because I listened to it as I skated across icy sidewalks yesterday falling only 3 times, the lyrics are perfect for it. "OK don't fall down, yeah/ As I hit the ground, woah/ it made that awful sound/ but I still can't get my head off the ground." Everyone is falling today, I plan to spend my lunch break sitting outside watching people fall just for a good laugh (I swear I'll help them stand back up, I'm not that cruel). I know the song speaks to deeper levels than falling in public but that is what is so great about music; you can adapt it to fit whatever emotion or event you want. And during slippery times like these, this song is perfect and will always make me think of the great snowfall of 2011.

If you go to her bandcamp page and listen to her EP, her songs start to deviate from the pop singer you might assume she is based on this song. Each song gets progressively more ominous as she morphs from pop singer to rocker. You can get her song "woman" as a free download on band camp as well. Enjoy. - New Music Collaborative


"A Feast of Beast"

My whole life has been dictated by my surroundings. I was born in Tehran, but had to leave at an early age because of war and revolution. I grew up splitting my time between Abu Dhabi and Canada. This obvious divide between cultural traditions, and most importantly, the wide spread repression I witnessed throughout the Middle East sparked a desire to explore myself creatively, which led me to music. ~NéGar
Received this gem in the ol’ email today with the lovely above note. I love her voice and the range across this short n sweet 5 track EP. Immediate comparisons to The Sandwitches come to mind, most noticeably in my favorite track posted here, as well as some Joanna Newsom & even some Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Her voice is strong and willful, making its presence known and heard. Keep your eye on this one, this is pure talent that won’t stay secret for long.
Grab her s/t EP on Band Camp here for only five bones.
Check out the superb quality music video to my second favorite track Faceless, Nameless below. Here is someone is I want to see live.
Source: negar.bandcamp.com - A Feast of Beast


"The Indie Machine / New Release: néGar – Off The Ground EP"

Toronto singer/songwriter néGar recently released her debut EP and you ought to know about it. Head over to her Bandcamp page to stream Off The Ground in it’s entirety. You can also download a copy of, A Woman, in exchange for your email address. While you’re at it, watch the video for Faceless, Nameless below. Be sure to check out her EP release party on February 26th at Bread & Circus in Kensington Market. For more info, visit néGar on Myspace. - The Indie Machine


"The Not-Pop Jukebox"

As I was casting about for a song to post today, I listened to néGar and her self-titled EP released January 2nd of this year. Handily, i found her interesting enough to share. You can listen to the whole EP for yourself at her Band Camp profile but I thought I'd include a song here to give you a taste. You can also download A Woman there for free, if you like what you hear. That one was way too sad and slow for me to post here so I've chosen to go with the much-angrier Faceless, Nameless, as it's the only one that was readily-available for including. If you only pick one song to listen to, though, I'd go with Off the Ground. I think that one does a much better job of showing the strength of her voice and her emotions. If you want to read more about her, try her official web site as well. You know I'm too lazy to write up a bio for you all but her roots stretch from Tehran to Toronto. - The Not-Pop Jukebox


"Video of the day: néGar – Faceless, Nameless"

Video of the day: néGar – Faceless, Nameless - Happy Days Are Here Again


"MUSIC VIDEOS (in ALL caps): Nameless, Faceless"

My whole life has been dictated by my surroundings. I was born in Tehran, but had to leave at an early age because of war and revolution. I grew up splitting my time between Abu Dhabi and Canada. This obvious divide between cultural traditions, and most importantly, the wide spread repression I witnessed throughout the Middle East sparked a desire to explore myself creatively, which led me to music.
Negar’s delivery carries a combination of magnetic force and vulnerability that connects with her audience, reaches far beyond the performance and is rooted in contrasting cultures.

The song has a Led Zep vibe to me. What do you think? - in ALL caps


Discography

néGar ( 2011 EP Release)
1.Off the Ground
2.One Minute
3.Faceless, Nameless
4.By the Sea
5.A Woman

Purchase link
http://negar.bandcamp.com

2004 Digital Demo Release:
1.I'll say okay
2.Run and Hide
3.To be
4.Shame

For a full list of site's streaming the EP & radio airplay
email negarmusic@gmail.com

Photos

Bio

Elemental and elegant. Bluesy and bold. Negar’s lush arrangements and lilting vocals reverberate with the strength and grit of Jim Morrison and Patti Smith.

Born in Tehran, Negar moved to Canada at age three, leaving a country torn by revolution and war. She returned to the Middle East at age 11 to live in Abu Dhabi, a city of wealth and repression, that in turn inspired her to express her creativity.

She began writing songs about acceptance, culture, love and ambition, taught herself to play on a secondhand acoustic guitar, and discovered artists such as Nirvana, Nina Simone, Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan.

After graduation she attended OCAD to complete a Bachelor in Design. Upon graduation she decided to focus on her music and create her debut album. Negar found an ideal collaborator and mentor in producer Dan Achen, whose sudden passing in early 2010 added another haunting chord to her life, and to whom she dedicates her upcoming five-track CD.

Her passion is evident in the power and beauty of every note she sings. With the launch of her album, top club dates, and her original music featured in an entry to next year’s TIFF, Negar is one to watch.