CMU Approved

Approved: Mentrix

By | Published on Tuesday 4 February 2020


Born in Iran, Samar Rad fled the country with her family aged eight, living in France, before returning as a teenager. Now based in Berlin, via the UK, she makes music as Mentrix, which explores the mixture of Eastern and Western cultures that made up her childhood, as well as the differing expectations and treatment of women. This is all collected in her debut album, ‘My Enemy, My Love’, which will be released through her own House Of Strength label in April.

“This album reflects my relationship with the contrasting worlds I lived in, with myself, and all my existential wanderings”, she says. “It is very important for me to associate my music with the landscape of Iran. I am forever attached to my birth place, and my identity and aspirations are very rooted in Iranian culture. Since the West so often portrays Iran in a questionable way, I feel obliged to share its diverse and positive faces to the world”.

Inspired by traditional Persian poetry, her music also features a variety of traditional Iranian instruments. New single ‘Walk’, in particular, is driven by percussion instrument the daf.

“In Sufism the daf is a calling for the soul to awaken”, she explains. “It makes that big sound because it’s empty, and its emptiness means two things: on the lower level someone who is empty and has nothing to offer makes a lot of noise. On a higher level, when you are truly empty of the world the entire universe can resonate within you. It’s the dark side and the bright side of the moon in one instrument”.

The album is out on 3 Apr and you can watch the video for ‘Walk’ here:

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