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Sheffield musicians record new song for refugees

During lockdown, an ensemble cast of 11 local players came together to create a track about the global refugee crisis.

Organiser Nadia Durrani-Jones told us about the inspiration behind 'Sailing On Tears', which is raising money for charity Refugee Action.

Amid the chaos of having our lives abruptly halted, came the gift of time, in abundance. What we do with our time is usually within our control, but often stems from our subconscious activity. For me, this lockdown time provided energy to my passions in life, in particular to music and education.


I was destined to be thousands of miles away, teaching in south-east Asia at the start of April, but this opportunity was stalled indefinitely by the pandemic. Instead, I used some of my time to explore what was going on in other areas of the world and learn about the real issues faced by people. Many of us in the UK became frustrated by having our luxuries removed. Whilst I empathised with this bereavement of pleasure-evoking activities, it also occurred to me how fortunate most of us are, every day of our lives, for having the basics we take for granted: food, shelter, security, family and support networks.

Songwriter Nadia with Steve Edwards vocalist

Nadia Durrani-Jones with vocalist Steve Edwards.

I was struck by the contrasting existence of displaced people, forced to flee their homes, due to circumstances beyond their control. The news stories about refugees drowning whilst trying to find sanctuary on our shores deeply disturbed me. I decided to do my bit to make a difference.


Looking no further than the people within my home city of Sheffield, I soon had a collective of musical artists willing to donate their time and talent to bring 'Sailing On Tears' to life. With the production skills of my friend Aidan Thompson of Steelworks Studios, the track was completed and ready to share with the world.

Nadia Durrani-Jones
Filed under: #refugees

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