Vodka is to Ukraine what tea is to Iraqi Kurdistan– a way to pass the time, 24 hours a day. Everyone has his favorite style. #ukraine #travel #booze #convenience #odessa #kievApril 16th, 2014
When I take a train between Budapest and Moldova, I always make sure it's #firstclass. Just finished an overland journey from Istanbul to Odessa, Ukraine. I don't even know how long it took. The guy with the gun at the border asked if I was a tourist for war. I hope not. #travel #easterneurope #ukraine #rawmusic ps that's not a gun, it's an instrument I got in #Iraq, and it's made me a lot of friends.April 16th, 2014
Istanbul thanks for your light and breeze and humanity and sometimes your smells. Tomorrow Raw Music International heads to Ukraine for episode 3. But first I have to survive what feels like a totally necessary bus journey through Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova (and hopefully not Transnistria). See you in a couple days. And keep an eye out for RMI Iraqi Kurdistan, coming out…soon? #istanbul #balkans #travel #ukraine #nature #sunsetApril 13th, 2014
#Kurdistan it's been far too real. Old men of the region, thank you for letting me photo your grizzled and glorious mugs. Musicians, thanks for the sounds. Police, thanks for not detaining us too often. #RawMusic is out. Editing in #Istanbul. Episode coming soon. #travel #photo #portait #history #natureApril 5th, 2014
The final shots for #RawMusic #Kurdistan, on the roof with @jmrp09. Next stop #Istanbul for a rest. #Repost from @olives74 — Filming Raw Music Kurdistan on our roof with @cyrusvj and Jacob. Cyrus leaves for Istanbul tonight and we are going to miss having him around.March 30th, 2014
Iraj moves into his new place, a storage room behind the fish joint. A table, a TV, a pile of blankets, and stacks of sweets he didn't manage to sell at the bazaar. Baghdad and Kurdistan are still arguing over oil revenues, government workers aren't getting their salaries, and people working the bazaar are moving in with their leftover inventory. #iraq #kurdistan #sulaymaniah #oil #middleeast #realtalk #travel #hardtimesMarch 28th, 2014
Kurdistan's biggest new pop star @HellyLuv prepares for her debut show in front of thousands during the #nowruz celebrations in #Erbil. Raw Music International was backstage to cover the madness. Video coming soon… #kurdistan #iraq #international #music #travel #live #exclusive #hellyluvMarch 27th, 2014
Finally found the first shot of our Raw Music Kurdistan episode. The world’s loneliest bounce castle and its symbiotic organisms: a struggling diesel generator, a chain smoking operator, dust, and four kids having a glorious time. Captures a lot of my feelings about this place. One week of editing left and then on to….we’ll see…
5 star hotel, 2 phones, 1 empty pool, 1 former detention center turned into a massive park in the background, and Helly Luv, Kurdistan’s biggest new pop star. We spent the weekend with her as she prepared for her debut concert in front of thousands during Nowruz.
Check the music video that rocked Kurdistan below:
The baddest Kurdish men in black guard over Helly Luv while the Finnish backup dancers take in the view. Backstage at the Erbil, Nowruz celebration before Helly’s first ever public performance.
Backstage with Kurdish pop star Helly Luv for Nowruz in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. Nowruz is the celebration of the new year in Iran and Kurdistan, and it comes on the spring equinox. Rebirth and starting fresh.
The sun was shining and thousands gathered to dance and picnic (the Kurdish national past time) and climb shit for a better view. Helly only has one song, but she performed it well. A massive fireworks display went off to officially mark the start of the year 2626.
Frustration in the Erbil Bazaar.
I climbed a mountain with a monk and then the sky went batshit.