Elaha Soroor is a London-based musician, vocalist, composer, and designer. Born into a family of Afghan-Hazara refugees in Iran, she lived near Esfahan until moving to Kabul at the age of 14. Her works embody the complexities and nuances of society across continents, engaging and challenging audiences not only musically, but intellectually. Elaha started her musical experience as a devotional singer in a female music group in Iran, before rising to fame through the TV show Afghan Star in 2008.
Following her release of her original song “Sangsar”, which was a harsh critique on the stoning law, she became known as an outspoken artist who challenged the status quo. This popularity, in a society known for its persecution of female performers combined with passionate views on women’s rights, resulted in an environment of serious personal danger from society for her as well as her family , and she was eventually forced to flee Afghanistan. To this day, Elaha’s views and activities draw threats of danger towards her and her family members who remain in Afghanistan.
She currently performs globally and designs socio-political wearable art. Her latest release “Songs Of Our Mothers”, winner of Songline’s 2020 Best Album. The album is a collection of folk songs by Afghan women that have been passed down from mothers to daughters. An organic blend of traditional and contemporary sounds, it serves as a bold protest against patriarchy and a joyous statement of resilience and emancipation.
Elaha has also served as a composer and performer for theater, dance and film projects. She is currently working on The Wales Millenium Center’s production of The Boy With Two Hearts, based on the book Hamed & Hessam Amiri. Her participation in this project is a testament to her dedication to illuminating the plight of Afghan citizens under the Taliban as well as all refugees, who seek calm, safety, and security.