System of a Down’s Serj Tankian has released the new music video for “Rumi,” a track of his recent solo EP Elasticity.
The song is a tribute to Tankian’s six-year-old son and the 13th century Sufi poet Rumi, for whom Tankian named his son. Tankian doesn’t often share the lyrics to his songs, but he did so for “Rumi,” saying in a statement, “Lyrical specificity in music is generally discouraged because less people internalize them as they have less of a personal connection. But there are cases where it is vital if the inspiration and muse is specific. In this case, a father talking to his son and reverence to the poet that inspired the son’s name could not be re-written so one can generalize.”
The Craig Ray-directed music video for “Rumi” plays a bit with this theme of advice, alternating between footage of Tankian performing the song at a piano, and a sequence in which a group of young people walk on a beach while being hounded by religious leaders, consultants and politicians. Meanwhile, the ink from a book — ostensibly a collection of Rumi’s poems — begins to spread on the sand. By the end of the video, the young people reach a kind of serenity as the ink appears on their skin, and, as an added bonus, all the annoying adults explode into a million pieces.
Elasticity, released in March, marks Tankian’s first proper solo release since his 2013 album, Orca. In 2020, he linked up with Jimmy Urine for a collaborative album, Fuktronic,
In February, Tankian also released a new documentary, Truth to Power, which examined his role in the 2018 Armenian Revolution, as well as his history of activism.