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Singer and composer Mentrix draws her sacred practice of music into a secular exploration of the illusive dualities of existence and belonging for her bold debut album My Enemy, My Love, for which she inaugurated her female-led record label, House Of Strength.

Mentrix © Mentrix Iranian-born Berlin-based Mentrix, aka Samar Rad, fuses eastern and western sounds with lyrical songwriting, crisp drum machines and propulsive traditional Sufi instruments to create a bold and luminous goth-pop debut. 

The title of the album is a reference to being seen as both an immigrant and a deserter, and a reference to the daf, the Sufi religious instrument she plays, she explains: "In Sufism the daf is a calling for the soul to awaken. 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." 

Mentrix: "I produce my music videos as cinematic counterparts to my music, offering alternative visions of femininity and the awe-inspiring landscapes of my home country. It is very important for me to associate my music with the landscape of Iran because I am forever attached to my birthplace, and my identity and aspirations are very much 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.

The film for Walk contains motifs symbolizing womanhood, unity, solidarity and spirituality, from the contrast of the concrete and neon of urban Tehran to the breathtaking dunes of Iranian deserts. 

As an individual whose life has been split between my motherland and Europe, being an immigrant has been a reality for me since I was eight years old. You are always asked where you are from. You don't have the same opportunities as others and you are very aware of a certain stigma that you drag along with you at every job interview or administrative office.  As an artist, I feel very strongly about this stigma and weight, and I participate in this exhibition with the hope of contributing to a dialogue and spreading awareness about the realities of the immigrants: who they really are, driven by the pursuit of a better life, proud people who refuse to waste their lives in a hostile environment, and how much societies owe their growth to them."

Walk, گام بردار

By Mentrix, released as a single for the album My Enemy, My Love in 2020 on House of Strength Records 
See, despite everything we have said and done

We both know we talked more, sitting on everything we had in store

Tired of just sitting, I got to my feet and walked

The loose promises you live upon are dull

Walk in one direction

Open now those eyes ’though you’re asleep

Everything goes as planned: trees give fruits, Men seek truths

Don't you wonder why nothing changes?

Time crumbles like chalk, you need to walk, now, get up!

Walk in one direction

--- Grass grew tall under your feet ---