9 December 2015
Iconic Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant is among a group of renowned artists to feature on a new record inspired by the plight of refugees.
Created with the British Red Cross, The Long Road highlights real-life experiences of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK and across the world.
The ground-breaking record features the likes of Grammy Award-winning group Tinariwen and spoken word poet Scroobius Pip.
It is produced by Brit Award winner Ethan Jones, who has worked with the Kings of Leon, Laura Marling and The Vaccines.
The record, released on 4 March 2016, is available to pre-order today.
Plant has recorded a version of Elbow’s song The Blanket of Night, which is about refugees attempting a treacherous journey to gain asylum in the UK.
The singer said: “We have a worldwide international catastrophe – talking about it is one thing, doing something about it is another.
“The position we are in, it’s paramount we all do our best one way or another to help.”
Tinariwen have also contributed to the record, recording a new track entitled Silence.
The group’s founder, Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, was a refugee as a child and was forced to flee his home in Mali after his father was executed in the 1963 uprising.
Songwriter-producer Kindness, and the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, have also recorded tracks inspired by the experiences of refugees.
Working with refugees
Several tracks featured on the release have involved musicians working with a refugee who has been helped by the British Red Cross.
Ayman Hirh, a refugee who fled Syria, inspired Kindness’ track.
He said: “I hope that my experience and the album will encourage people to think about the reasons people like me are forced to leave home.”
Alex Fraser, head of refugee services and international family tracing at the British Red Cross, said: “We are very excited to have Robert Plant and Tinariwen on board for the album.
“They are inspirational artists who, through the power of their music, can help to tell the story of the long and dangerous road that many refugees and asylum seekers have travelled.
“We hope that the album will help us to break through to new audiences and in turn raise funds to help people find protection and rebuild their lives.”