A soft, altruistic re-working of a traditional Muslim chant, Iranian born, Berlin-based vocalist & composer Mentrix has shared her latest single ’99 Names Of God’. Working alongside DJ, producer & activist Nesa Azadikhah (founder of Deep House Tehran), Mentrix’s version of the song – which is usually sung by men and associated with Ramadan – centres and celebrates freedom of expression via her distinctive vocals and Sufi-inspired beats.
“’99 Names Of God’ are the many words which describe God in the Quran,” Mentrix aka Samar Rad explains about the chant. “These words are principals and qualities that manifest the divine. In Sufism, the teachings invite one to contemplate on these names: which one of these words are you? This chant, composed of three vocal octaves in the style of Tavashi, has been sung by many around the world. My version is here to honour the very essence of Islam, an invitation for every individual, beyond gender and any social construct, to cognise the divine within.”
The track is accompanied by a hypnotic video which Mentrix made in collaboration with Tobia Gremmler (Bjork), reflecting the fluid nature of gender and beauty with fluctuating shapes and symmetrical images. With her 2020 debut album My Enemy, My Love, released via her own female-led label House of Strength, Mentrix sought to shift perspectives on femininity and challenge patriarchal norms with her music. On ’99 Names Of God’, she continues this journey and delivers a beguiling, empathetic soundscape in the process.
Watch the video for ’99 Names Of God’ below.