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Top musicians team up with refugees on new album

15 June 2015

Some of the country’s most cutting-edge talent have signed up to make a concept album – based on the real-life stories of refugees and asylum seekers.

Scroobius Pip, Kindness and Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars are among the first artists to team up with the British Red Cross to make the groundbreaking record.

Brit Award winner Ethan Johns, who has worked with the Kings of Leon, Laura Marling and The Vaccines, is set to produce.

Stories in the studio

To create The Long Road album, artists have each paired up with someone forced to flee their home and seek safety in the UK.

Kindness’s Adam Bainbridge is working closely with Ayman Hirh, a refugee who fled Syria when the fighting broke out in 2012.

Adam’s grandmother Amina Desai was South Africa’s longest-serving female Indian political prisoner for her defiance of the apartheid regime.

He said: “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. So I had to be involved in this project.

“Getting to know Ayman has been fantastic and I’m looking forward to telling his story in the studio.”

Ayman added: “I can’t wait to hear what he produces. I hope that my experience and the album will encourage people to think about the reasons people like me are forced to leave home, before they judge us.”

Shattering stigma

The album’s announcement hits all the right notes for Refugee Week (15- 21 June), which celebrates the contribution of refugees – and promotes better understanding of why someone seeks safety in the first place.

Andy Hewett, refugee support manager at the Red Cross, said: “We wanted to find a way to shatter some of the stigma attached to refugees and asylum seekers, and challenge people’s misconceptions.

“With the tragedies we see unfolding every day in the Mediterranean and around the world, as people flee their homes, it’s vital to try to illuminate this issue and bring home the reality of leaving everything behind.”

Send in album art

You can now be part of music history by helping to create the album artwork. We are looking for photos of the people, places and things that celebrate the contribution of refugees in the UK.

If you want to show off your eye for a good picture, email refugeeweek2015@redcross.org.uk or share your photo on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #TheLongRoadEP.

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