When Fereshta was just a baby, she and her parents fled Afghanistan to Pakistan in the hope of making their way to America and out of war torn areas. A Baptist church in NY sponsored them and soon they were starting a new life in Virginia. Now, as a Indie Rock Artist and Activist, Fereshta is making a difference in the world.Tell me how you got interested in music and who or what inspired you to get into rock and roll?
Well, my parents and I came here from Afghanistan via a 14 month stint in Pakistan. A Baptist church helped us get an apartment and their congregation donated a few things to get us started, like a bed for me and some blankets for my parents. When my mom and dad found jobs the following month, we would go to yard sales to find items we needed. At one of those yard sales, there was a cassette and record player for sale with a huge box of records. My parents were music lovers, and though they didn’t know the music inside that box, they knew they wanted music in the house again. Lucky for me, the owner of those records was a rock n’ roll fan. I still remember the first time we all sat down, and my father put the needle against the record. I heard the scratching sound led into the bouncy beginnings of The Knack’s “My Sharona.” I had never heard anything like that before in my life. It was incredible, vivacious and such a beautiful noise filled with freedom and self-expression. I was inspired by the vitality of the music and fell in love immediately with the entire bin of records! Needless to say, I was hooked from then on. :)
‘Global Citizen’: http://fereshta.bandcamp.com/album/global-citizen
You say you want to “heal the divide between your two beloved nations of Afghanistan and the USA”. How do you plan to do this?
In as many ways as possible really. Some of it comes from just doing what I do. If I can show the world another version of an Afghan woman, one that is educated, powerful, sensual, expressive, and contributory, I think that will raise the consciousness worldwide. Then, if I can go to my own people in the east and tell them how much America has helped me and my family, basically adopting us and giving us the education and opportunities to thrive, I can show them the positive values of the west and raise the consciousness over there as well. I would love to speak at peace conferences, perform at benefit shows, teach songwriting as catharsis to Afghan youth, fundraise to build schools, organize rock festivals around Central Asia, and simply be an example of what can happen when an angry warbaby is given the education and opportunities afforded to the first world. I believe in education so much. It empowers and inspires ordinary people to make extraordinary contributions to the world.
Tell me more about your giving your proceeds earned to girls education by building schoools in Afghanistan and Central Asia.
I have a pretty ambitious goal of raising $50,000 with my record.
That’s what it would cost to build a school, provide its supplies for the classrooms and the students, and pay the teachers for an entire 5 years. Greg Mortenson and the Central Asia Institute make this happen.
I feel blessed to create music, it’s an absolute joy for me and I’ve found my passion in sacred activism. There is no greater happiness in my life than in being of service and making the world a better place. It’s a utopian ideal I’ve had since I was little, and childhood dream I am fulfilling.
Above all, what do you want your music to say?
First and foremost, I want it to inspire people to find the music inside themselves. I want my music to empower anyone who connects with it. We are all here to contribute our unique gifts, whether it be singing, journalism, building schools, healing children…etc. We all have a right to shine and we are all needed very much right now. The world needs more lovers, more positive role models, more people who feel compassion for the billions suffering in the world. War is outdated, the manipulation of truth is outdated, separation mentality is outdated, group think and lazy media, it’s all on its way out. It’s time for the good people of the world to participate proactively in a true consciousness shift. We are all branches of the same tree. We are all swirling around on this big beautiful ball together and we’ve got to make it work! It’s the only way we can ensure our survival. We are the people and the time is now. I’m rambling and could go on for pages, but here it is in a nutshell: I am here to empower the individual, and to ignite the spark of unity on this planet.
Diana Olson – firstname.lastname@example.org