behind the brush: serj tankian

Regarded as one of the best vocalists in heavy metal, Serj Tankian holds many accolades within the music industry. An Armenian-American singer, songwriter, and composer, Tankian is best known for his work with metal band System of a Down as well as his solo album releases, such as Elect the Dead and Imperfect Harmonies. But Tankian is not one to remain complacent with his art or a single definition of his personhood, despite his massive success in hard rock. 

Coloreyesd - 16x 20 inch edition

Tankian has strived to articulate his artistic expressions in various forms. Some being through the composure of instrumentals, cinematic music, and poetry recitations as seen in his EP Elasticity. Cool Gardens Poetry Suite and album Cinematique Series: Illuminate, as well as the creation of musical scores for film, TV, and video games, like Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Netflix Original series Crime Scene – The Texas Killing Fields. 

Add author to Tankian’s resume with his memoir, Down With the System- a compelling exploration of his childhood growing up in Beirut, adjusting himself and his family to life in Los Angeles, making it in music, and discovering his passion for social justice. Tankian delves into his unique experiences and discusses what it’s taught him—about music, about art, about activism and about himself.

With activism at the heart of all that he does, Tankian has taken on a new endeavor into the world of coffee with Kavat Coffee. Kavat Coffee sources premium, fair trade and certified organic coffee to craft unique brews and supports Tumo, a Center For Creative Technologies in Armenia that empowers and educates the youth throughout the country and beyond. Learn more about Kavat Coffee and their initiatives here. You can visit Tankian’s Kavat Coffee Shop and Eye for Sound Art Gallery in Los Angeles to enjoy art, music, coffee, merch and more IRL.  


Tankian lends himself to the visual arts with his painting and sculpting of over 80 pieces. He creates a uniquely audible and visual experience with each of his artworks where each piece is accompanied by an original musical score. He has had multiple exhibitions at galleries in both the United States and New Zealand. 

Shop his latest release at Moonlight Arts Collective here. 


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