Sheffield Musicians Record New Song for Refugees

Sheffield musicians record new song for refugees to raise money for Refugee Action and City of Sanctuary Sheffield. Donate here. Charity Song Launched by Sheffield Stars this Christmas In…

Sheffield musicians record new song for refugees to raise money for Refugee Action and City of Sanctuary Sheffield. Donate here.

Charity Song Launched by Sheffield Stars this Christmas

In honour of Sheffield’s ongoing commitment to being a place of welcome for people seeking sanctuary musicians across the city have joined forces to launch a charity song in aid of refugees this Christmas. Due to Covid-19, this year over 50,000 people in the UK are held in limbo for more than six months as waiting times for those seeking asylum is delayed.

Sailing on Tears is a creative response to the crisis and features diverse artists renowned in pop, R&B, house and orchestral music, resulting in a powerhouse track. Sheffield has embraced the song, which has already featured on BBC Radio Sheffield, several community radio stations and on Spotify’s Release Radar.

The idea came from secondary school science teacher Nadia Durrani-Jones. In addition to writing the song, she’s also created a virtual assembly on the refugee plight to help engage young people in the campaign.

Nadia said: “I’m on a mission to improve the support available to refugees and asylum seekers arriving in the UK. During my career in teaching, I have worked with many families who came to the UK seeking asylum, in particular from Iraq and Syria. The children placed in our care were clearly traumatised from their experiences prior to arriving in the UK. We had desperate parents and carers recounting real life stories of how they came here looking for a safe place to bring up their children. As a teacher, you do everything in your power to nurture and support displaced children and their families but I always felt there was more I could and should do. The best gift brought to me by the national lockdown was time; being forced to stop my usually busy life enabled me to reflect on moments that had made an impact on me and also reignited my interest in writing music.

Alex Dimond, a charity worker from City of Sanctuary Sheffield, said: “People waiting a decision on their claim to asylum are not permitted to seek work, rendering many poverty-stricken. Charities like ours are struggling, due to a drop in donations, to provide sufficient food, accommodation and clothing for every person in need. Sailing on Tears is incredibly moving, and it’s very welcome that local artists have come together to create such a powerful song and help put this plight on the agenda.”

Sailing on Tears was produced by Aidan Thompson of the world-famous Steelworks Studios in Sheffield; Aidan is also guitarist in the successful indie-pop band, Alvarez Kings.
Vocalists on the track include Sheffield’s songwriter to the stars, Eliot Kennedy (pictured below), who has written some of the world’s biggest pop hits with Bryan Adams, Take That and most recently for Dame Shirley Bassey.

Nadia added: “Refugees and asylum seekers have made a huge contribution to the UK’s arts and cultural scene. From Britain’s most successful children’s author, Judith Kerr, who fled to London to escape Nazi Germany, to footballer Victor Moses, the Nigerian born footballer whose parents were killed in religious clashes leaving him to seek asylum, to stars like Freddie Mercury and Rita Ora.”
Other vocals include Steve Edwards, one of the most successful musicians in house music today who has worked with Basement Jaxx and Pete Tong and local star, Jack T Harper.
Singer and busker Maxwell Thorpe brings his stirring baritone voice, famed for literally stopping people in the street. Maxwell has been dubbed ‘Chavarotti’ thanks to his laid back sportswear as he belts out operatic classics.

The collective also features Eurovision singer Lindsay Dracass, singer-songwriter Julia Waldron, musician Nicola Farnon – known on the jazz and swing circuit – and Katie May Bosworth aka KB, who is already a household name in Sheffield and set on becoming a major international artist.
All proceeds go to Refugee Action and City of Sanctuary, Sheffield.

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  • Nadia Duranni-Jones is available for interview on: Phone: (+44) 07905 245222For media enquiries contact, 0753 194 8014