press release

How CDbaby helped my music to survive in Iran

Salim Ghazi Saeedi
Salim Ghazi Saeedi, 2012

I grew up in Iran, a country in which artists encounter publication as a government-monopolized industry. So during days of self-teaching music and flourishing of my musical capabilities (mainly in instrumental rock context), my main concern had always been how to overcome the domestic limitations of publication. Because otherwise I had to undertake the process of obtaining permission from Iranian Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance, who is known as an old opposition toward western music and art. Here is the story:

It was 2005 and at my age of 24, DIY culture was rushing into digital content production. At first I started to sell downloads directly myself and publicized my work on Then I found a website called Their pitch caught me in fear: “We are not evil!”. I thought “Gee! Evil! I don’t like them!” I also remember reading their terms of service and it seemed a little one-way at the time. Googling for self-publication services, I found CDBaby as a cozy website with humorous tone and friendly staff. Once they even photographed my arrived CD package that was all tore up that most probably was due Iranian postal service.

During years CDBbay has always fueled my motivation for the art I produce mainly by making an easy way to overcome my publication limitations in Iran. Of course like majority of other indie artists these days, I sell in small amounts but truly every dollar that CDBaby pays, my eye twinkles! I remember reading an entrepreneurship advice in Derek Sivers’ eBook, Anything You Want that he started in the business by focusing on resolving people’s problems and gradually expanded. Of course in my case, Derek Sivers’ concern may has not directly been providing freedom of expression to artists like me, but at the end his good intention had other good side effects too!

Salim Ghazi Saeedi is an Iranian independent composer and guitarist, mostly known in avant-prog and rock in opposition genres and compared to King Crimson, Univers Zero, John Zorn, etc.

press release

How a Marshall AVT20 serves a boy’s dreams of freedom in Iran

Salim Ghazi Saeedi Playing with MarshallsIran – Tehran
-“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
– “I want to be a king!”

This was Salim Ghazi Saeedi’s unusual answer as a 4 years old boy to the world’s most common question for children! But why someone would like to be a king anyway?! “Among all fantasy and innocent dreams of my childhood I clearly remember why I preferred a king’s profession” Salim says. “Because they could do anything they want; As a child how could I compromise for anything less?”

Growing up in Iran, in horrendous times of Iran-Iraq war and amid heavy censorship of western culture and music, Salim gradually found a way to follow his passion of childhood: He discovered rock and metal musicians are among people who “do anything they want” on the stage… And this scene always had one common background: A “Wall of Marshalls”.

In the age of 20, Salim bought an AVT20. However among all Marshall models, it is a just a cute baby, this model became Salim’s dear companion witnessing his progress in the artistic path. Salim remembers buying his AVT20 Marshall Amp from downtown of Tehran: “They did not let me to open the vacuum package before I pay for it.” Salim says: “I wanted to buy a Marshall anyway and AVT20 was the best model I afforded… After I came home and opened the manual, it read at the first page: They are addictive! My eyes twinkled: I already knew it!”

As a rock musicians in Iran, publishing 6 albums between 2006 and 2012, Salim counts as a prolific composer by many standards – however his environmental limitations has always forced him to direct his music activities toward web presence. “I have always been into Do-It-Yourself culture in general sense of term; but about music production in Iran I had no other choice; ‘cause there has never been a local rock music current around to help my music career to evolve.” During these years the Marshall Amp has been an integral part of Salim’s sound; including its clean sound. Watch him play the song Asiyeh from his 2010 album, Iconophobic:

Salim Ghazi Saeedi Playing with MarshallsSalim’s music genre has been identified as Rock in Opposition and Avant-Prog by many critics. But how an isolated musician is capable of pursuing his dream for years without giving in to his local limitations? “I can never disregard the impact of warm, multidimensional and truly addicting sound the Marshal Amp has as a self-motivation in all these years. Enjoying the instrument’s sound is an important encouragement for practicing more especially when – like in my case – you face the ordeal of doing every aspect of musicianship by yourself!” Salim continues, “Equipped with a Marshall I can hire a wide range of dynamics that is an important part of my guitar playing style. Moreover this amp makes me to feel an electric animal under my fingers – as it unbelievably responds to all levels of dynamic in playing.”

The little AVT20 black box is still amplifying Salim’s childhood dream of freedom… Is Marshall an emblem of freedom? Hell yes!

Visit Salim Ghazi Saeedi’s multilingual website at