Rostam Batmanglij launched his wide-ranging music career as the keyboardist, rhythm guitarist, and producer of Vampire Weekend, co-founding the group in 2006 and remaining with the band for a decade before releasing his solo debut, 2017's Half-Light, under the mononym "Rostam." Born in Washington, DC, on November 28, 1983, he was raised by Iranian parents and joined Vampire Weekend while attending Columbia University. Rostam produced Vampire Weekend's platinum-selling, self-titled debut, which was released in 2008 and became both a commercial and critical success, peaking at Number 17 in the US and Number 15 in the UK. He also helmed the follow-up records Contra, Modern Vampires Of The City, and Father Of The Bride, all three of which topped the Billboard 200. Meanwhile, he maintained a prolific career outside of the band, collaborating with Ra Ra Riot's Wes Miles for the short-lived side project Discovery in 2009 and releasing his first solo track, "Wood," in 2011. His work as a producer kept him similarly busy, with projects including Carly Rae Jepsen's synth-pop release E•MO•TION, Hamilton Leithauser's Black Hours, Clairo's Immunity, and Haim's Grammy-nominated Women In Music Pt. II. After leaving Vampire Weekend in 2016, he released the solo album Half-Light in 2017, mixing art-pop, R&B, and classical music into a sound that was as diverse as his resume. He returned in 2021 with a follow-up effort, Changephobia.

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