Whole Directory

band or artist name
song title

This Category


Advanced Search

Top » Bands and Artists » P » Perwer, Sivan » Biographies


" Sivan Perwer is widely recognized as the foremost singer among the Kurds today. The hypnotic rhythms of his songs and his beautiful vibrating voice will mesmerize you as he sings traditional Kurdish songs of love, war, heroism, and longing for a homeland free from persecution. His extraordinary ability to express his passion and activism through music has resulted in the Iraqi, Iranian and Turkish governments' placing a ban on his music. As an exile now living in Sweden, Sivan has recorded 18 albums and continues to be a voice for the Kurdish people. " Sivan Perwer was born between Diyarbakir and Urfa, Turkish Kurdistan in 1955. His birthplace was full of musical activity. His father was a great Kurdish flute player and his older brother was influential as a singer. His childhood was full of musical gatherings, dances, and festivities. One of his childhood memories is that the whole neighborhood used to demand from him to sing for them in frequent occasions: "Sivan please sing for us, we'll give you candies and sweets..." The people around him really loved his singing and he grew up with this encouraging atmosphere. By the time he was in high school people were asking him to make records. At that time this was not in his mind; he was involved with furthering his studies to help his Kurdish people. Besides, recordings could only be done in Turkish, not in his native language Kurdish. Yet he kept singing. Songs were about friendship, humanity, freedom and peace. Every new song brought a new message. From 1975 on he became a protest singer. When asked why he did not choose fame and fortune he answered " I want my songs to bring a message about my people, about their reality, their situation, their suffering, social misery, about occupation. I must give Kurdish Music a face, a personality. I want to serve my people with my music." Still Sivan did not get a real musical education from the start. He was studying mathematics. Yet gradually he taught himself music by studying other peoples' music and developing his musicianship. He has become the best known Kurdish musician in the world, accompanying himself on the tanbur, Kurdish 3-course lute. Sivan Perwer is also a highly accomplished composer. At this time he has recorded over 30 cassettes, records, numerous CDs, film and video music. He has become a teacher and inspiration for many Kurdish singers; but especially for his son. His wife Gulistan is also a well-known Kurdish singer. He is surely banned in the radio and television of the region. As a passionate defender of his people and their music, Sivan travels the world tirelessly, against all efforts to stifle his music. Political songs are a major part of his repertoire but it is in traditional epic and love songs that Sivan excels unlike any other. His voice, cries of love travel many lands, singing on behalf of the silent, he has become the mythical minstrel of an entire people and one of its symbols of cultural resistance. His Passion : By now Sivan Perwer has become a living legend, giving performances all over the world, participating in solidarity concerts, crossing continents with multi-cultural events. Each one of his recordings is different and unique. Spanning the range from traditional to folk, from classical to protest songs to songs of freedom and friendship, in various Kurdish dialects. He sings of love and peace despite the fact that he can not go back to his homeland since the day he left his country in 1976. His land is a forbidden land and he's a forbidden man. His Art : Sivan became famous during the period of Kurdish protests against Iraqi rule at Ankara University in 1972. His homemade recordings were smuggled over the border, while thousands of people came to see him perform live, having found in his music an essential expression of the Kurdish mentality. Fearing for his life and the welfare of his family, he left Turkey for Germany in 1976, and recorded his first album of Kurdish traditional songs. Today he lives in Sweden, though much of his time is spent travelling and performing all over the world. In 1992 he appeared at the Live Aid concert organized by Bob Geldof and Geoffrey Archer. Proceeds from this concert went to the aid of Kurds fleeing the Gulf War. Sivan Perwer, a passionate defender of the Kurds and their music, travels throughout the world in an untiring effort to make Kurdish music heard. For many years his music was banned in Turkey, Iran and Iraq. Political songs are a major part of his repertoire, but it is in traditional epic and love songs that he excels. Singing on behalf of the silent, he has become the mythical minstrel of an entire people and one of its symbols of cultural resistance. His Work: You can buy his work from About Him: Sivan Perwer is a wild flower in an world art garden. He is walking toward universality and is definately most popular Kurdish singer ever. Danielle Mitterand He is a real star and charisma. Sheri Laizer / Author, Journalist He is peoples scream. Group Kizilirmak / Singers He is one of the best, a real friend and beyond everything he is peoples singer. Ibrahim Tatlises / Singer My people got to know me and loved again with him. He became the voice of my poems. Cigerxwin / Poet - Singer
Contributed by: Sivan Perwer official web site.
Contributor e-mail:
This category needs an editor