A lot of modern musicians are trying to figure out ways to get closer to their audience, often through social media interactions. A group of artists is taking this new interest in personalization to another level and transferring it into the political sphere: in partnership with the Red Cross, Kindness, the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, spoken word poet Scroobius Pip and others are creating a new kind of concept album where each song will be based on the real-life story of one refugee.
Every musician-refugee pairing will result in a unique track presenting that individual’s experience. The various narratives will then be woven together on an album, The Long Road, to offer a multi-faceted portrait of the difficulties faced by asylum seekers. The Red Cross hopes that the project will “shatter some of the stigma attached to refugees and asylum seekers and challenge people’s misconceptions.”
Adam Bainbridge, who performs as Kindness, asked Red Cross to be a part of the project as soon as he heard about it. “I’ve seen with my own eyes that anyone’s life can be turned upside down overnight; that expressing an opinion can be enough to make life unliveable in the place you call home, and eventually force you to leave it,” he said in a statement. (His grandmother was imprisoned in South Africa for protesting apartheid.) “So when I was told about the project, I had to be involved.” Bainbridge is matched with Ayman Hirh, a Syrian refugee. “Getting to know Ayman has been fantastic,” the singer added. “I’m looking forward to telling his story in the studio.”
Read FADER's cover story on Kindness here.