In northern Iraq, where soldiers are battling the self-declared Islamic State, or ISIS, one fiery singer is on a mission to stir up patriotic sentiment.
Crimson-haired Iraqi performer Helly Luv has a recording contract in the U.S., but she didn’t want to shoot her latest video in Hollywood.
Her track, called “Revolution,” is a tribute to the ethnically Kurdish soldiers known as peshmerga who are fighting against ISIS. So she took a video team to a front-line village, as bullets flew and battles raged.
“Yeah!” she tells me. “We shot the video right there, and it was so crazy.”
The video features a bejeweled Helly Luv — herself Kurdish — dancing in a traditional peshmerga outfit, and in a tank firing a shell.
“Rise up, ‘cause we’re so much stronger as one,” she sings in English. “Breaking the silence as loud as a gun. Brothers and sisters, we all come from one. Different religions, we share the same blood.”
In Iraq, A Kurdish Warrior-Diva Sings Against ISIS, Despite Threats