London-based musician Ash Koosha is a self-described virtual reality pioneer, a rockstar, and a synesthete who sees colors as sound. But all that matters under President Trump’s travel ban is the color of his passport- brown, like all others from Iran.
Jailed in his home country for the crime of organizing a rock concert, Koosha claims asylum in the UK and lives in London. His conflicts with Iranian authorities are irrelevant under the US President’s travel ban targeting individuals from Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. The new restrictions, implemented by executive order, went into effect last week and will continue at least until October, when the US Supreme Court is slated to rule on their validity.
Even with the new presidential order, Koosha will reach fans in the US in a virtual reality performance. Partnering with TheWaveVR, a virtual reality concert platform available in early access on Steam, Koosha will play in London on August 16th at 7 PM PST. Fans in America can watch with an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.
Last summer, Koosha canceled concerts in the United States after the State Department failed to process his visa in time. His problems have only grown under the new administration. He issued a statement in January, calling Trump’s first failed travel ban, “the outcome of petty political pandering to the detriment of thousands.” He continued, “All of my ambitions, contributions, and efforts were reduced to bureaucratic paperwork that left me feeling betrayed and burdened because of my ‘place of birth’.”
Koosha’s concert is the fourth in TheWaveVR’s flagship series. Previously featured artists include Heavy Grinder, N-Fold, and Grimecraft.