Refugees hoping to top Christmas singles chart
Refugees who have come to the UK from all over the world have teamed up with music students to compose what they hope will be the Christmas number one.
The festive charity single, which is called Whatever You Believe, is sang, performed and recorded by a mix of refugees and youngsters from the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM).
It was put together as part of the I Speak Music project, which invited musicians, displaced young people and the local community to record a track to fund projects that will help integrate refugees into host communities.
One of those singing in the track is 18-year-old Amer – one of many refugees who has migrated to the UK from Syria.
He been here for a year-and-a-half and has been able to take part in the single with the help of the Big Leaf Foundation, a charity which supports refugees.
“When I first came to the UK, the first six months were very difficult because I couldn’t speak English and I didn’t know anybody,” he said.
“Everything was different – the people the houses, the streets. I didn’t have any friends because I don’t speak the language. The food was difficult, the house was difficult too because it was small.”
Amer has managed to go to school and college and now potentially pursue a career in performing arts. He’s been helped by the Big Leaf Foundation, with opportunities and trips that have helped build his skills and confidence.
He said of the new single: “It’s fantastic, it’s the first time I’ve sung. I’ve met some new people and I would really like to thank to people who’ve made it possible for me to be here and sing.”
“In the future, there will be more and more. We’ll not just be in the UK – we’ll be in the US too and the rest of the world.”
Kayte Cable, a trustee of the charity, told Sky News: “It’s important to help specifically displaced people who have arrived to the UK from war-torn countries.
“I think it’s quite well documented about the horrific journeys these people have to take to get here – but once people arrive here, the physical journey stops but the rest of it doesn’t.
“The settling and integration can be quite stressful.”
The college students say working on the single has provided a great insight into other cultures.
It was mastered at the worldwide renowned Metropolis Studios in London, where songs by Michael Jackson, Beyonce and Queen have been mastered.
Metropolis CEO Kainne Clements said: “This country has been fuelled by immigration over the years and to ignore it would be a huge mistake.
“We need education and therefore involving our community through education fosters much more awareness. That’s what this country needs to move forward.”
The single and an accompanying music video is out on Saturday 15 December.