Let the music speak for their humanity
North London based Artist Namugga is an Alternative Soul artist, who uses her strong resonating soulful vocals, to invites you into her intimate space of emotional release. Having been influenced by a range of genres such as Gospel, Neo soul and R’n’B has helped Namugga create the cornerstones of her sound. She partook in the ‘Voices to the World' project as it was something that she feels strongly about and has the desire to raise its awareness. In her own words she describes the experience.
We often go through life being the centre of our own world, concerned only with our struggles and problems, with little to no concern for those outside of our universe. Being a first generationer, whose parents were once asylum seekers and have spent time in a detention Centre, the Hear Me Out organisation was something that resonated with my desire to give something back. I’ve always been made aware of how much of a privilege it is to have been born in the UK, let alone bare a United Kingdom passport, being told anecdotes of people who’d work for pennies, scraping by, by any means necessary because the quality of life here is currently better than where they’ve come from. The sacrifices that have been made, selling all that they own just to reach the border and be denied access. To step foot on the land and be detained for God knows how long.
Many of the individuals who’ve been detained have no idea how long they’ll be detained or how long until they’re sent back to their country of origin. They’re living in a void and unfortunately the majority of our society has no idea. Not only that, but even some first and second generationers are so far removed from the struggle of what it took to get here that they start regurgitating the same rhetoric of ‘No more immigrants’ and ‘They’re taking all of our jobs’.
Coming from such encounters has really sparked a flame within me to do something more, to give in any capacity that I can and the Hear Me Out organisation granted me that wish. Hear Me Out collaborated with Generation Uncovered’, The Crib, and Rising Tide, by bringing young musicians, between the ages of 18-25 together with industry professional musicians to collaborate in creating songs to uplift the spirits of people detained in Immigration Detention Centres. The songs will be sent into the Centres and played out to them.
It was refreshing, especially easing out of the lockdown restrictions to enter a space with other artists, creatives with likeminded drive and intention. Hence, it didn’t take too long for us to get familiar with each other. Since we were all aware of what the brief would be with the songs, everything came together quite seamlessly.
We wanted to create songs that would be relatable to the migrants detained, we wanted to let them know that they haven’t been forgotten about by us on the outside.
We wanted to create songs that are comforting, uplifting and informative, and I feel that we were able to achieve that. One of our songs explores the frustration of being heard but not understood or cared about and the monotony of everyday life. Another of our songs talks about the longing for a loved one whose distance doesn’t serve anything other than feeding the desire to see that person again. Fundamentally, we wanted to create songs that not only address their current circumstances but all the emotional turmoil that we as humans experience every day. We wanted the songs we created to be their form of outlet and comfort.
Hear Me Out allowed us to create a bond with each other through music. Collectively, it has armoured us with all the information required to spread awareness to our peers and loved ones. Hear Me Out opened my eyes further to the injustices that detainees are enduring and how the British government are complicit and need to be held accountable for their crimes against humanity.
Photographer: Akil Wilson
The Voices to the World album
About the project
In September 2021, Hear Me Out partnered with Rising Tide, Generation Uncovered and The Crib to deliver free music workshops for young people in London aged 18-25. The aim of the project was to provide young people with an opportunity to learn music-making skills from experienced artists and to access paid Kickstart job placements in the creative and cultural industries, as well as learning about immigration detention and music making in the centres. Over eight workshops the young people created and recorded six songs which they performed at The National Youth Theatre. These six tracks will form a part of DIY Radio 3 – Hear Me Out’s remote radio show which is sent to thousands of people currently held in immigration detention across the UK.