Won't Back Down


When I was seven years old, my family was in the process of moving to America from Iran. I was too young to really appreciate what that meant for us, but it was a big deal. There are a lot of people that want out of that country but never get the opportunity.

Both my mom and dad played a big role in getting us to America. My dad made a lot of the money moves and sacrificed a lot to get us here, while my mom helped facilitate the whole operation. She was the "Commander in Chief" if you will.

When we attempted immigrating to the United States, we were denied passage the first time around at the embassy in Pakistan. My sister was born in the U.S. so she came first. My parents had her when they were going to college in Arlington, Texas in the ‘70s. I won’t say when they had me, but let’s just say much later ;)

My dad followed my sister to America a few months later. My sister was staying with my aunt and uncle in Florida while all this was happening. After about nine months of waiting for another opportunity, my mom made sure she wouldn't take no for an answer—she went into the Embassy and Consulate in Dubai with determination. They granted her safe passage at first, but said your son can't go because of strict military enlisting laws in Iran. Obviously, my mom wasn't about to leave me behind. That would have been a bit sad!

I don't know how, but she made a case to have them grant me a one month visa to visit my dad and sister. I think it was a combination of luck and determination. My mom cried and begged to let us visit our family in the U.S. They finally just said, "Okay, fine, you can go for a month.” It was as simple as that.

I am now a U.S. citizen and have been since I was 18. It's pretty unreal when I stop to think about it. My life could have been completely different because of that moment in time where my mom was able to use her superhuman strength to bring us to America. That's the story that inspired my song "Supernatural" on my latest EP, Somewhere Between Love & War.

"Supernatural" was one of those songs that kinda wrote itself, and it was really fun making it. As most of my songs start, I started jamming the guitar lick you hear in the verse. That quickly led to a chorus idea and the word "supernatural" popped in my head. Moments after that, I picked up a pen and pad to write the lyrics. Within minutes, it was clear that the song was going to be about my mom and her superhuman strength. I felt it was the least I could do to thank her, and put a smile on her face for bringing me here to do what I love the most…create music.

I'm truly blessed to have the background I do and the parents that I have. There are a lot of people living quite freely in the States, and they don't really understand how lucky they are. That is a big source of why I work so hard at music or at anything really. A lot of my inspiration comes from the fact that I was given a chance to really chase my dreams with complete freedom.