New iPhone 7 Commercial Features Music by Iranian-American Rostam Batmanglij

From the Cookie Monster to Taylor Swift, Apple has used endless ways to convince us to buy their products. Now, the new iPhone7 commercial features a finely crafted track titled “In a Blackout” – co-written by the young Iranian-American artist Rostam Batmanglij.

Born and raised in Washington D.C., Rostam is the youngest son of the award-winning Iranian cookbook writer Najmieh Khalili Batmanglij. At 32, Rostam is no newcomer to the music industry. A former member of the Grammy-nominated indie pop band Vampire Weekend, he has an impressive list of credits to his name. He previously worked as a producer and songwriter alongside artists such as Charli XCX, Frank Ocean and Solange Knowles. In 2010, his song ‘In Summer’ was released by Converse and featured award-winning recording artist Kid Cudi.

Rostam Batmanglij on keyboards with Vampire Weekend. Photograph: Moses Namkung, Concert Photographer.

Batmanglij co-wrote “In a Blackout” roughly two years ago with Hamilton Leithauser, the former lead singer of the Walkmen, an indie-rock band. In a recent interview with the music and culture magazine The 405, Leithauser praised Batmanglij and credited him for taking the sound in a fresh direction.

“Every time I tried to do it – and I tried with the Walkmen several times – it just didn’t make sense, and it never ended up sounding like anything beyond something recorded in 1967,” said Leithauser. “It just didn’t sound new enough, and that’s what Rostam brought to that song.”

Released in September, the track is available for download on iTunes.

By Susanna Huth