Band of blind and partially sighted teenagers release charity single

Post date: 
Tuesday, 20 December 2016
a band of young people play their instruments

My name is Charlotte and I am fourteen years old. I am the pianist and one of the song-writers and composers of a band called "Up North Down South". "Up North Down South" is a band of young, visually-impaired musicians and song-writers. We have released a few Charity singles this year, entitled Free, Fallen from Graces and Supposed to Be (Should've listened to them alright).  

The RNIB Music Advisory service deserve a huge thank you for the establishment of our band, as without them and their amazing music events and days, we would never have met. Although the members of the band are dotted around the north and south of England - hence the name "Up North Down South" - we contact each other every day. Last year, in February, the RNIB held a song-writing workshop which is where we all met. Since then, Louis, Josh, Anna and Jess, have become my closest friends and it has been amazing making music and writing songs with them for the upcoming album which we have put together called "True Stories of Real People". 

Our charity single, "Free"

Recently, we were given an opportunity by the RNIB to record and release a single on iTunes. The idea for the single came from the fact that I have been very concerned about the terrible war and conflict and the current refugee crisis, and wanted to do something to help the innocent people. After discussing this with the band, we realised there was something we could do to help make a difference. Music has given us so much and helped us all, so we decided we should use our music to help and make a difference to other people's lives.

We decided to write and produce a song about the refugee, humanitarian crisis, and donate the profits made from the single to "Refugee Action", which is a truly inspiring charity which helps and supports families coming from war-zone countries, such as Syria. The debut single is called "Free" and was written by Louis, who is one of the song-writers and the synth player. The single's lyrics highlight the terror and suffering of war and conflict inflicted onto innocent people. We hope that the single will raise awareness of the crisis and increase people's empathy towards refugees. Although there are incredible charities and organisations which are working tirelessly to help these innocent people, there is still a lot of people who demonstrate a lack of compassion and empathy, which I, and I am sure you will agree, is extremely sad. These innocent families, travelling from war-zone countries such as Syria, are just people like us, except they have been faced with some of humanity's worst atrocities - a cruelty so barbaric, so inhumane we can barely imagine. They have lost loved-ones, seen things which will stay with them and haunt them forever, and been consumed with the constant terror of war and conflict. 

What's next?

Our band's aim is to campaign about the rights of refugees and make an impact on these indifferent people through our music and lyrics, whilst also raising money to help refugees. We believe music is a powerful and valuable political tool. 

We hope that the single is successful, because not only do we want the track to set a bench mark for our music to come, we would like to raise as much money as we can. I am going to continue campaigning and fundraising for the rights of refugees. Moreover, I am going to write more songs and music about refugee rights and world peace to spread awareness. 

Lots of people think world peace is not possible, but who knows? Personally, I think if we convince ourselves it's just not possible, then nothing will ever change. Therefore, I hope to make an impact on the fix mind-set much of the world have. For the future, I would like to persue a career in both music and justice. I hope to actively help to restore justice and directly help others in other countries.

You may be interested to read a creative story/petition about peace which I sent to parliament earlier this year: download the accessible word document here. world peace story petition.docx (Word, 19.99 KB)

If you're a young blind and partially sighted musician, why not enter the VIP ProjectThe project is a series of songwriting and performance workshops delivered by established and experienced singer-songwriters and producers within the music industry. You never know where it might lead you. 

 

Do you love music?

Are you a blind or partially sighted musician who would like to join with likeminded people, or find out about local music groups in your area? The RNIB Music Advisory Service can put you in touch. Whether you're an established musician, have been inspired to learn a new skill or want to revive an old hobby they have something for you. Email mas@rnib.org.uk or phone 020 7391 2273 for more information. And if you become a member of the RNIB library, you can borrow music in your preferred format for free. 

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