Singer, songwriter, producer, and director Sevdaliza makes artful, passionate left-field pop that incorporates trip-hop, R&B, and orchestral music. After emerging with a series of short-form releases, her majestic 2017 audiovisual album Ison earned critical acclaim as well as comparisons to Portishead, Björk, and Velvet Rope-era Janet Jackson, and contemporaries like FKA twigs and Little Dragon. With 2020′s Shabrang, Sevdaliza expanded her explorations of identity and healing with sounds that reflected her Iranian roots, and on 2022′s Raving Dahlia, she presented a danceable, sci-fi version of feminism that spoke to real-life truths.
Born in Tehran and raised in Rotterdam, Sevda Alizadeh played basketball for the Dutch national youth team and earned a master’s degree in communication before she opted to explore her artistic impulses in the early 2010s. Following tracks such as 2012′s “DelftsBlauw,” in 2015 she delivered a pair of EPs, The Suspended Kid and Children of Silk, that she created with Rotterdam-based producer Mucky and released on her own Twisted Elegance label. The following year, Sevdaliza issued The Formula, a short film featuring songs including “Mad Woman,” which appeared as a single in 2017.
In April 2017, Sevdaliza’s debut album, Ison, arrived. Named for a sungrazing comet, it was an ambitious set of songs revolving around identity and past lives that was also released as a visual album. She followed it in 2018 with The Calling EP and a string of singles, including 2019′s “Martyr,” that preceded the August 2020 release of her second full-length, Shabrang. With a title alluding to a black horse that appears in a 11th century Persian epic poem, the album reunited Sevdaliza with Mucky and string arranger Mihai Puscoiu. Sevdaliza returned in February 2022 with Raving Dahlia, an EP of dance-based songs about a robotic “femmenoid” artist who liberates herself from the expectations put on women. Along with releasing the EP on her own Twisted Elegance label, Sevdaliza also constructed a version of the robot. ~ Heather Phares & Andy Kellman