The First Lady Jill Biden, while presenting the Grammys to 'Baraye', said, "A song can unite, inspire and ultimately change the world,”. She added, "This song became the anthem of the Mahsa Amini protests, a powerful and poetic poem for freedom and women’s rights."
'Baraye', an Iranian protest song, became the first-ever Best Song For Social Change Special Merit Award in Grammys 2023.
Who was Mahsa Amini? The 22-year-old Amini was arrested and allegedly beaten up by The Iranian Guidance Patrol for not wearing the hijab. According to the reports, she died due to police brutality, which however has been denied by the authorities.
What made 'Baraye' so monumental? As the protest began in Iran back in September 2022, many Iranians took to Twitter and wrote their reasons for the protest, which Hajipour then weaved into a song 'Baraye'. The term 'Baraye' literally translates to 'for' in English, hence the song talks about all the reasons why Iranian citizens are protesting.
The song is not only a heart-wrenching dedication to all those who lost their lives fighting for their freedom, but is also a fierce reminder of people's power and resistance. Here's a small excerpt from the song:
“For the feeling of peace; For the sunrise after long dark nights; For the stress and insomnia pills; For man, motherland, prosperity; For the girl who wished she was born a boy; For woman, life, freedom…For Freedom.”
Baraye's release and aftermath: After its release, the song instantly struck a chord with the protestors and had soon become synonymous to the ongoing protests throughout the world. But, a few days later, Hajipour was arrested, and the song was removed from social media.
His arrest triggered another retaliation from people, and they started trending “For Shervin” on Twitter by posting his song and demanding his release.
'Baraye' has received a huge international support as well, with many famous artists like Coldplay and Jon Batiste covering the song, as a way to lend solidarity to the Iranian citizens.
After this momentous win Hajipour wrote "We won" on Twitter. Since the announcement, Twitter has been celebrating its win as a tribute and recognition to the Iranians who have lost their lives, and those who still continue to protest.