There was a time when music was used to highlight causes and drive issues, when protest singers had a point to make and disaffected punks and street corner hip-hop crews put their lives, longings and loathings into song and beat. Then things seem to settle down somewhat, which was odd because it is not as if the world had become a significantly fairer or safer place. But thankfully opinion and causes, politics and social momentary are once again becoming increasingly prevalent subject matter for today’s artists.
Refugee Child, as the title suggests, highlights the plight and life changing journey of just one child, of how the lucky ones can find a new life away from the torment of the war zones and transit camps. It is an important song, as indicated by the fact that it was nominated Best World Beat Song by Akademia Music, but this is more than just about notoriety, it is about spreading the word. And whilst the politicians let us down and solutions have to be found from other sources, maybe part of the story can be told in the words and rhythms of songs such as this. It is infectious and memorable, full of easy grooves and strident beats but more than that it is a song which acts as a rallying point, a way of spreading the message, a gentle reminder that there is a lot that we need to change in this world and that things aren’t getting easier for many Far from it.
Songs are often the perfect medium, passing on information and opinion without the listener ever feeling like they have taken a political stand or are doing anything more than enjoying a great song, that they are being gently educated. It’s about time artists remembered the power they have at their disposal, something that doesn’t seem to have passed B Freed by.