Tag Archives: Refugees

Folk Of The World festival event

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.

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Andy White (interview)

From Belfast comes Andy White who has a love for music and strong opinions about the societies he lives in. We contacted Andy and learned more about his music and about his future plans of wearing sunglasses more often!

 

First off, for those not familiar with your work, who is Andy White?

He’s an Irish songwriter/troubadour from Belfast City. He writes words. A lot of words. Sings, plays the acoustic & electric in public. Bass, piano in private. Knocked on the door with ‘Religious Persuasion’ some years ago, and his new album is ‘The Guilty & The Innocent’.

“Growing up in Belfast it was obvious that someone had to say something. Making something beautiful out of chaos is what my Mum taught me.”

How did you get into making music and especially protest music?

My grandmother played the piano, taught the piano, loved the piano. I listened to The Beatles, T Rex and Bob Dylan on my Dad’s Pye Black Box record player. Scribbled poetry. Knew during punk that anyone could do it. Growing up in Belfast it was obvious that someone had to say something. Making something beautiful out of chaos is what my Mum taught me.

Are you a part of a strong, like-minded scene in Belfast? Or do you feel alone at times and that more people need to use their voices responsibly through their music?

I played at Tom Robinson’s Power In The Darkness 40th anniversary show last week. I had been at the first as a schoolboy. It was like when the Sex Pistols played Manchester – everyone at the gig went and formed a band, started to write music, or ended up in rock’n’roll.

There are no rules of art, and ‘responsible’ doesn’t feel right – though it should just ‘be’. Use your own instinct to select. Do what feels right and watch out for what’s not.

Can you share some of your favorite political/socially conscious/protest bands or musicians, current or not?

Kendrick Lamar, Courtney Barnett, Tom Waits, Sinead O’Connor (always). John Cooper Clarke, Billy Bragg and Tom Robinson. The Streets.

Do you partake in other activist activities outside the music?

Demonstrations.

What do you think you’d sing about if the world was all of a sudden kind and full of empathy between all people and animals?

Ha ha dream on!

How do you feel people are receiving political music these days?

With earbuds.

What is on the horizon for you?AW_LP1_04PhotoSquareNoType

Wearing sunglasses more often! Touring this album, I want people to hear the songs.

(insert from Shouts: Apparently when one writes ” 8) “, as in the question number, in the chat on Facebook it automatically changes it into a sunglasses wearing emoji.)

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Thank you very much for participating and for the music you make!

Thank YOU!

 

Grace Petrie

With a voice, a guitar and harmonica at hand Grace Petrie (UK) uses traditional tools for performing nontraditional music. This is uncommon music in the world today as we are bombarded by pointlessness. Petrie’s frustration over and passion for the world and her fellow human beings shines through in her lyrics.

“And yeah, it’s true God ain’t my thing
But if he was, I’d rather sing
For all of the refugees
Perishing in foreign seas
Those bodies washed up on the shores
Were fleeing our state-sponsored wars
And our leader sees nothing wrong
So I wrote him a brand new song”