Stories about arresting music


Hamid Sakhizada

Hamid Sakhizada is a highly acknowledged musician from Afghanistan, specialized in the Hazara traditional music and the instrument dambora. He has a large fan base in Afghanistan and abroad. He has represented Afghanistan in the 2012 ABU Annual Song Contest, the Asian version of Eurovision Song Contest. He has had several appearances on Afghan television, especially after 2008 when he came second in the Afghan Star, the equivalent to Idol song contest. He has performed in several countries, as well as having produced three albums.

He has given traditional Hazara music a more popular appeal, but this has brought unwanted attention from groups who oppose minority Hazara culture, as well as religious traditionalists. He has been subject to a steady campaign of threats and harassment.


In June 2015 two of his music students, Arif Shadab and Dilshad Baba, were kidnapped by the Taliban. Shadab was tortured and then released. Baba was killed. Shadab later told the kidnapping came as a result of their music performances.

In 2016 Hamid, along with his wife, came as guest musician to Safe Music Haven Harstad, where he still lives and continues to perform his music openly, develop his career keep Hazara tradition alive. 


Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen

Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen is a Sami artist and singer from the city Tana, in the north of Norway. She is actively fighting for the rights of the Sami people in Norway, as well as being a passionate advocate for protecting the environment.


With the band ISÁK, she has been established as one of the most relevant names in Sami music the last year. The trio consists of Ella Marie, Daniel Eriksen and Aleksander Kostopoulos. They performed at Spellemannsprisen in 2018, where they memorized the Norwegian music industry with their cover of Mari Boine’s “Elle”. 

Ella Marie has participated in several national and international song contests. She won the Sami Grand Prix in 2016, and the Liet International European song festival for regional and minority languages in 2017. 

In 2018 she won NRK’s Stjernekamp  - a national song contest featuring some of Norway’s most recognized and beloved artists - where she showcased Sami music and language to the entire country.