Coming up in the beginning of February is a music festival called London Remixed Festival which is an annual melting pot of music and performances. Part of the festival this year is a side event called Folk Of The World which will act as a fundraiser for, and in association with, the UK based Refugee Kitchen charity.
The before mentioned concert aims to celebrate the diversity and rich cultural heritage refugees and asylum seekers can bring with them crossing the borders of this world. A part of the concert program is a group of musicians who call themselves Everyday People and who share the experience of having to leave their home in search for safety. Everyday People is a project by the Music Action International charity and it includes musicians from Syria, Iraq and Turkey. The project helps teenage refugees break out of their often isolated and bleak circumstances through making music and motivating creativity.
I contacted Dila, who co-produces the event along with Joe Buirski, and asked her a bit more about the event and their background. She told me that both her and Joe’s roots are in music and production. She is in two bands, Dila V and the Odd Beats and Band of Burns and Jow plays the double bass in a band called Cut A Shine as well as managing Two For Joy, a production company. Both of them organize festivals and music events around the UK.
“We got invited to host a room at London Remixed Festival together and our main aim was to celebrate the beauty of refugee cultures arriving to this country and allow people to celebrate them.”
I asked Dila what was the best part of being part of such an event and festival and she told me it was both the healing and the unity the music provided, not only to the audience but to the refugees as well that get to express themselves in new ways. “Often audiences come up to us and ask what is this music, never heard anything like it before, that is my biggest reward when I get to present them with eastern or african music that they’re experiencing for the first time.”
When asked if she wanted to shout something from the rooftops Dila responded: “Come to our event, show solidarity in these difficult times, let’s change perceptions and celebrate the new arriving cultures rather than alienate them!”
London Remixed Festival will take place 2nd and 3rd of February and tickets are available through Eventbride.
Halldór is the managing editor of Shouts - Music from the Rooftops!, an investigative journalist, audio engineer, and animal rights activist. Currently based in Cuernavaca, Mexico.