Say Yeah

Fueled with a UK club track, “Say Yeah” tells a dynamic story about longing for true love. It is a "Romeo and Romeo" love story that ends with a tragic twist. Tooji continues to fight for LGBT rights and highlights the actual situation in many societies today, where young people are still harassed and beaten up daily because of who they love.

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The Father Project

Music video promoting gay rights divides Norwegian society

With the controversial music video titled “The Father Project”, made as the official anthem for Oslo Pride 2015, Tooji hoped to kickstart a debate about the equality of homosexual people in the eyes of religion. And he sure succeeded.
After the video, showing simulated love scene between Tooji and a male priest in a church, was released on June 8th, it quickly caused media frenzy and provoked strong positive and negative reactions in Norway – a progressive Scandinavian country.
In a statement the bishop of Oslo condemned the video as a desecration, stating: “Footage of intimate scenes in front of the altar is never acceptable, no matter what the video’s message might be or who the artist might be. It is an abuse of the church, and a misuse of its holy room.”
(reference: Statement)

But the Church of Norway is not united in the heated discussion that has occupied the Norwegian media for days and has spread on the internet.
Gyrid Gunnes, priest, scientist and artist, compared the importance of Tooji’s video to that of the Pussy Riot’s performance in Moscow 2012.
“In Tooji’s video, homosexual love takes over the actual symbol of the church, its room, and shows us what is not possible to see within the frame of the church’s heterosexual understanding of marriage. The community is smiling and watching an explicit erotic scene, as friendly as the community witnessing church’s own ritual for the explicit erotica between heterosexuals, namely the religious ritual of wedding,” she wrote in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten.
(reference: Aftenposten)

“The Father Project” has also received the attention of the international media, The Huffington Post, among others.
(reference: The Huffington Post)

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"We've begun to raise daughters more like sons... but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.”
Gloria Steinem

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Tooji is a Norwegian-Persian artist, author, television host, vlogger and model. He was born in Shiraz, Iran, in 1987, and celebrated his first birthday on the plane to Norway, to which his family immigrated. Tooji’s very first performance on stage was in the Norwegian finals for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 (Melodi Grand Prix 2012). He won and was given the opportunity to represent Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan, with his entry “Stay”. 

With the release of the song “Packin’ Guns” in 2014, Tooji revealed a new depth, both artistically and visually. Since then, he has released a string of genre-bending pop songs expressing socially engaged messages. Tooji holds a bachelor degree in child welfare, and has worked in asylum reception centers helping children and teenage refugees as well as victims of human trafficking. This work has motivated him to use his songs and profile to speak out for those who suffer in silence. He is a supporter of LGBT and women’s rights.

In June 2015, Tooji came out as gay as a part of “The Father Project”, stating that he hoped he could make it easier for young gay people by being open about his own sexuality. He was praised for his decision by the Norwegian National Association for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender People. With the controversial music video, created as the official anthem for Oslo Pride 2015, Tooji kickstarted a debate about the equality of homosexual people in the eyes of religion. The project provoked strong reactions and coverage in Norwegian and international media.

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