About kiosk


Kiosk is an underground Iranian music band founded in 2003 by Arash Sobhani in Tehran. Kiosk first made a name for itself by recording material considered “inappropriate” by the Islamic cultural authorities. Prevented from performing in public or publishing in studios in Tehran, Sobhani moved to the U.S. in 2005 where he led Kiosk to release the album, “Ordinary Man” probably the first Iranian underground album ever”officially”released in the west. The album was well-received by music critics and fans alike, both inside and outside of Iran. The album was made available on iTunes and other major music distribution channels in the West, a first for Iranian underground music.

Kiosk recorded their follow-up album in Toronto, entitled “Amor de la Velocidad.” Upon its release in 2007, the album hit #1 in sales on CD Baby. The title track music video for Eshgh-e Sorat, directed by Ahmad Kiarostami, became one of the most-viewed clip on youtube the week of its release. With the success of their sophomore album, Kiosk embarked on their first world tour, spanning from Bonn, Germany to Sydney, Australia. The band was met with both critical acclaim and welcoming fans over the world. Kiosk participated in several musical festivals along the way, including a tribute concert to Bob Dylan in LA, wherein they stood as the only non-English speaking band in the line-up.

In 2008, Kiosk returned to the studio to record their third album. At the state-of the art FM Studios, with the help of co-producer Sep V, the band developed “Global Zoo”. Guest appearances by Paul (Pazzo) Mehling of the Hot Club of San Francisco and Mohsen Namjoo, the legendary Iranian fusion musician, assisted Kiosk to build a richer sound, mixing traditional gypsy elements with modern rock. The track “Yarom Bia” became an instant hit, inspiring numerous remixes and extensive play at underground parties back in Tehran. The entire album was critically regarded as both mature and well-produced.

Pioneers of the underground movement of Iran rock music, Kiosk has been praised for their sharp, smart and satirical lyrics that highlight the paradoxes of Iranian society and the incompetent political system.

In july 2010 Kiosk recorded their fourth album “Triple Distilled” live at Yoshi’s jazz club in san francisco.

Kiosk's fifth album, "Outcome of Negotations" or Natijeh e Mozakerat," demonstrates the band's versatility, with song influences ranging from gypsy jazz to Iranian folk to blues to rock. Kiosk's unique sound is accented by flavors of gypsy-style violin, accordion, and mandolin, and the songs are complemented by meaningful lyrics which provide a sharp sociopolitical satire of Iran today. This eagerly awaited album also features covers of the English-language versions of the popular tango "Kiss of Fire" and the classic Russian folk song "Those were the Days."

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Ali Kamali : Bass

Based in Toronto, bass player , audio engineer and the tech savvy guy in the band,he studied applied audio recording in the audio recording academy in Toronto, he took charge of recording and mixing of “Eshgh e Sorat” , “Outcome of Negotiations” , “Parallel Establishments” and “Zang Bezan Azhans(Call a Cab) albums . He’s got a great ear for the guitar tones as well as a great eye for the hats! In 2008 Ali, (amongst other things), built a custom guitar (Kamal-o-Caster) which now has become a signature of the band.


Ardalan Payvar : Keys , Accordion

Trained as a classical pianist, Ardalan joined the band at the onset of their first performances and immediately became a major contributor to both the sound and look of Kiosk. Ardalan’s infatuation with jazz and gypsy jazz and his mastery of accordion had a major influence on the tone of third album. Ardalan is a graphic designer (a successful one!) by profession and has designed several of the album covers and other Kiosk-related materials. He also co-produced the acclaimed “To Kojayee” music video. Ardalan Lives in New York City.

Tara Kamangar : Violin

Tara plays violin for Kiosk and is a concert pianist and composer. Her piano album "East of Melancholy" is available worldwide on the Delos label. An honors graduate of Harvard and London's Royal Academy of Music, she lives in New York City.



Arash Sobhani : Guitars , Vocals

Arash is the songwriter and the lyricist of the band, as well as the lead guitarist. He worked with different musicians in Iran as a guitarist/sideman and wrote music and lyrics for various artists. When his “politically dangerous” lyrics made it difficult to find singers for his music, he was forced to step into the role of front man for his new project, Kiosk. Arash lives in New York City.