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, Serj 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, Serj 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 5 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, Serj 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 5 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 Serj, with the first being the critically acclaimed Orca Symphony No. 1, released in June of that year, followed up with the very unique Jazz-iz Christ one month later.
Over the past couple years, his time spent in the recording studio has been focused on creating musical scores and compositions for film and video game projects. His most recent credits include recording a modern version of Armenian folk song “Sari Siroun Yar” along with the Authentic Light Orchestra for upcoming film “The Promise”, directed by Terry George, starring Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac. He was also brought on by Survival Pictures, the producers of the film, to serve as an Executive Music Consultant. Additionally, he has composed the full musical score for independent films '1915' and 'The Last Inhabitant', an original composition for Ilya Naishuller's "Hardcore Henry" and video game musical scores for 'Midnight Star' and it’s sequel “Renegade”, which were created by one of the chief creators of the famed 'Halo' game franchise.
Serj Tankian’s resume also includes the formation of a record label, Serjical Strike Records (established in 2001) which has released albums by 8 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 with 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 40 pieces 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 as well as New Zealand. Most recently, his artwork was exhibited at the grand opening of New Museum Los Gatos in Northern California as part of a group exhibit that ran through September of 2015.