Şivan Perwer was born December 23, 1955 in Siverek, Turkey. One of his childhood memories is that the whole neighborhood used to demand from him to sing for them in frequent occasions: “Şivan please sing for us, we’ll give you candies and sweets…” The people around him really loved his singing and he grew up with this encouraging atmosphere. By the time he was in high school people were asking him to make records. At that time this was not in his mind; he was involved with furthering his studies to help his Kurdish people. Besides, recordings could only be done in Turkish, not in his native language Kurdish.
Yet he kept singing. Songs were about friendship, humanity, freedom and peace. Every new song brought a new message. From 1975 on he became a protest singer. When asked why he did not choose fame and fortune he answered: “I want my songs to bring a message about my people, about their reality, their situation, their suffering, social misery, about occupation. I must give Kurdish Music a face, a personality. I want to serve my people with my music.”
Still he did not get a real musical education from the start. He was studying mathematics. Yet gradually he taught himself music by studying other peoples’ music and developing his musicianship. He has become the best-known Kurdish musician in the world, accompanying himself on the tanbur, Kurdish 3-course lute. He is also a highly accomplished composer. His voice, cries of love travel many lands, singing on behalf of the silent, he has become the mythical minstrel of an entire people and one of its symbols of cultural resistance.
By now Şivan Perwer has become a living legend, giving performances all over the world, participating in solidarity concerts, crossing continents with multi-cultural events. Each one of his recordings is different and unique. Spanning the range from traditional to folk, from classical to protest songs to songs of freedom and friendship, in various Kurdish dialects.