Music Freedom Day

03/03/16Video: From Zombies To Revolutionaries

Wake up everybody because today, March 3rd, is Music Freedom Day, a day that pays tribute to everyone struggling to move things forward in the fight for human rights, the right of artists to perform their music as well as the right of people all around the globe to listen to that music. Because after all, music and art need to be considered basic human rights.

Or, in the words of the great Fela Kuti, one could also say that “music is the weapon of the future”. Such was the iconic claim made by the equally iconic afrobeat innovator and political maverick in his revolutionary song “Zombie”, which you can listen to here in full 12-minute length, off the eponymous 1976 album.

In light of Music Freedom Day the Freemuse agency for Freedom of Musical Expression recently presented a brilliant cover version of Fela’s track by Bologna's Voodoo Sound Club, featuring “a group of today’s most powerful Arab and Iranian revolutionary artists”, a lineup that reads as follows:

“‘Zombie’ [2.0] features Fela Kuti’s son and inheritor of his seminal band, Egypt 80, Seun Kuti, Egypt’s ‘singer of the Revolution,’ Ramy Essam, Moroccan rapper and activist El Haqed (L7a9ed, ‘The Enraged One’), Karim Rush of the legendary Egyptian hiphop crew Arabian Knightz, one of Iran’s premier rappers (and its first major female one), Salomé MC, and the Paris-based Palestinian-Syrian duo Refugees of Rap, who escaped Yarmouk Camp in the outskirts of Damascus at the height of the civil war with barely their lives.”

Find out more about the equally impressive production team behind this progressive initiative in the Freemuse article and check out the music video below, which also features English subtitles, to make sure these artists’ message is understood. Happy Music Freedom Day everyone!

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom