A singer, poet, songwriter, visual artist, activist, and composer; Serj Tankian has always created music as an outlet to express his thoughts and feelings with a level of passion and consciousness that few in today’s world of music can rival. An Armenian born in Lebanon and re-rooted in Los Angeles, Tankian was introduced to the melding of cultures, ideas, and ideals from a very young age. The principles learned from this integration and adaptation have led to his understanding of the oneness of all things and have since maneuvered and transfigured into the music and art that he lives to create.
Early in his career, Tankian found an outlet as the rabble-rousing lead singer and songwriter of the largely successful rock band System Of A Down, a band that has reached into the hearts and minds of millions of people relaying multiple messages of love, awareness, and activism. System Of A Down has five studio album releases, three of which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, and has also been nominated for four Grammy Awards and snagged one in 2006 for 'Best Hard Rock Performance' for their song "B.Y.O.B." Despite this success, Tankian never grew complacent with his art, always striving to open up new channels of sound and arrangement to articulate his artistic expressions.
Tankian has released five albums of his own solo material, beginning with 2007's chart-topping hard rock album Elect The Dead. His sophomore solo album, Imperfect Harmonies, was released in 2010, followed by Harakiri in 2012. 2013 saw two distinct releases from Tankian, with the first being the critically acclaimed classical record, Orca Symphony No. 1, released in June of that year, followed up with the very unique Jazz-iz Christ one month later. Recently he released a collaborative electronic record with Jimmy Euringer from the band Mindless Self Indulgence called “Fuktronic.”
Over the past number of years his time spent in the recording studio has mostly been focused on composing scores for film and video game projects. His credits include “1915”, “The Last Inhabitant,” “Midnight Star,” “Intent To Destroy,” “Furious”, “Spitak,” and multiple collaborations and soundtrack compositions like one for the film THE PROMISE, directed by Terry George, starring Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac.
Serj Tankian’s resume also includes the formation of a record label, Serjical Strike Records (established in 2001), which has released albums by eight critically acclaimed artists, including Fair To Midland, Buckethead, and Death By Stereo.
Along with fellow musician Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave), Serj co-founded the non-profit organization Axis Of Justice in 2002, which strives to bring together musicians, fans of music, and grassroots political organizations to fight for social justice. He has also dabbled in the world of broadcasting as co-host of the Axis Of Justice Radio Network, which can be heard via Sirius Satellite Radio and KPFK in Los Angeles. With a mission of spreading diversity and understanding through music, poetry, and activism, Serj Tankian will continue to surprise and enlighten those who listen to his music and hear his words.
In recent years, Tankian has split his time between holding a mic and paintbrush, having feverishly created over sixty works of art since 2013. His journey into the world of fine art began with his “Disarming Time” Musical Paintings that were exhibited at Project Gallery in Los Angeles. Since then, he has had multiple exhibitions at galleries in both the United States and New Zealand.
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