V/A – Afghan Star

Not your average soundtrack. Imagine a local X-Factor in a country just emerging from the rule of the Taliban. There’ll be tears and laughter and some rattling good tunes


Anyone who has seen the Sundance double award-winning Afghan Star documentary will know this is the story of a bunch of young people filled with the dreams of youth everywhere. Dreams of fame and adulation but in a very different setting than we are used to. When a third of the country tunes in though, it becomes so much more. Some contestants will risk their very lives. Ethnic loyalties will turn out the vote and maybe determine who will be the Afghan Star.

I defy anyone, even the most hardline Taliban, not to crack a mile and shake a leg to tunes like ‘Zim Zim Zim’. A pure joy.

While the TV show is rough round the edges, the 15 tracks on this outstanding CD are, thankfully, well produced and take us deep into the musical subconscious of this most puzzling and awe-inspiring nation. With a dose of pop, plenty of Bollywood and a bit of Arabia we have the bedrock to be flavoured with a bit of local produce. And yes, at times those synths can be closer to cheesy than breezy but there is an ebullience here that makes it uplifting.
Link: Watch Afghan Star on Channel 4’s 4OD
Buy CD on Amazon UK

One thought on “V/A – Afghan Star

  1. AFGHAN STAR really makes one realize how precious civil rights and freedom are. Woman who sing get death threats – a stark contrast to what has become the norm of many music industries. This film is definitely a powerful eye-opener. It’s available now on DVD from Zeitgeist Films and it can be saved on your Netflix or Blockbuster queue.

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