Music is a powerful tool. It can change people’s lives. It can be a voice for those who have none, it can be a wake-up call for people who are in denial about vital social or political issues, and it can be a way to make an impact on the world. Music has always been used as a form of protest, but today we see more and more artists using their music to address social issues such as refugees and immigration. The refugee situation coming from the war in Ukraine is amongst the worst humanitarian crisis we have experienced in recent times. Nevertheless, we have already seen this phenomenon generated by conflicts in countries like Syria, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, and have probably done very little ourselves to alleviate the plight of the refugees.
Lily Amis is an Iranian born Children and YA writer, Blogger, Lyricist, and Voice4refugees. Forced to witness the horrors of war, she became a refugee at 10 years old and had to flee her home country of Iran.
Escaping the Iran-Iraq war, which started in 1980, Lily has been able to find peace abroad. Yet, even after more than three decades, the songwriter says her mind is still fresh with the memory of the carnage. Making it clear that the scars of war never really heal, and are always there lurking in your subconscious.
“The sound of the bombs dropping has stayed with me. It was like a firework, and even now after more than 30 years, when everyone is happy about fireworks, it still sounds to me like those bombs dropping,” explains Lily Amis, who has really taken the plight of refugees to heart. To the extent that during the pandemic she took the time to write the lyrics for the song “80 Million People!” which is performed by British R&B and Soul singer, songwriter, and producer, Thir13een, and currently available on all major streaming platforms.
“Twenty-twenty has been a crazy year for all of us. A pandemic crises has taken a toll on children and adults. Uncertainty was troubling our mind. Fear of the future was causing sleepless nights. What we have been experiencing is nothing new. 80 million people forcibly displaced. This is the tragedy of our human race. 26 million refugees facing the same fate. Trapped in refugee camps with no sign of hope. No sign of hope,” recites the song in its opening lines, unfolding Lily Amiss’ writing style.
The lyricist does not waste time with ornamental writing, her prose cuts directly to her core message, which states facts and real-life situations. She is seriously searching for a change in global attitudes and loads the song with as much powerful imagery as she can. “
Now you know how it feels like to be powerless. Now you know how it feels like to feel helpless. Now you know…” sings Thir13een, his crystal clear voice resonating and conscious of its place in a world that seems in desperate need of healing.
“80 Million People!” captures the full range of Thir13een talent’s, as he comfortably bonds with Lily Amis’ lyrics, making strident calls-to-action. “The horrible side effects of this pandemic, is nothing in comparison to surviving in refugee camps. 80 million people are struggling to survive, to stay alive,” sings Thir13een. His vocals are eloquent and lilting, while the music is vibrant, smooth and layered, but never overwhelming, allowing the expressive words from Lily Amiss’ conscious pen to echo in our minds and hearts.
“80 Million People!” was officially released two days before the war outbreak in Ukraine, which proves that for Lily Amis this is not an attempt to straddle trends, but a lifelong aspiration. Lily has also captured her own experience as a refugee, in a memoir titled Destination: Freedom (also published as The Stolen Years In Zurich), and is currently responsible for an online petition – #HumanityB4Nationality, which seeks to change the refugee law regarding education and integration rights worldwide.
https://ffm.to/r25x5yy (Streaming links)