B.C. Dodge & R. Mordant Mahon talk to Rapper Narcy & Director Ridwan Adhami in this episode of “What a Relief!” — IRUSA’s official podcast.
This week’s episode takes listeners behind the scenes of the newly released music video, Free. Featured by big names such as Billboard and iTunes, the project was the result of a special collaboration between two artists and friends trying to do their part to spread love and awareness.
The video features footage collected all over the world over the span of five years by Islamic Relief’s Creative Director, Ridwan Adhami. It is laid over Narcy’s song Free from his album, World War Free Now. The final product presented a timely response to the recent media spotlight on refugees and immigrants, and the message was simple: “We will be free.”
The idea for the collaboration has been years in the making, ever since Ridwan began sharing his stories through Scars and Smiles, a unique event combining photography, music and storytelling. On his journeys to war zones, refugee camps and places of famine, he saw unmatched levels of destruction. However, in each place he also saw unrivaled beauty and resilience. “We start talking like human beings to one another, and the smiles come out,” he says.
This is not the first time the two artists have united forces for a greater good. Their first project, Hamdulillah, also featured visuals from all over the world. Ridwan describes Free as almost a spiritual sequel to Hamdulillah. They wanted to use the footage to offer a more positive face to people who are displaced all over the world, for them to be seen as more than a news headline. “We tend to forget that at the end, it’s just about people wanting to live,” Ridwan says.
As for Narcy, he says that the opening bars of the song are really what it’s about: “Immigrant youth, North American roots.”
“One day we’ll forget about all these borders we created to separate our cultures,” he says, “and realize that we need each other to keep the planet alive.”
Alongside the video, a LaunchGood campaign has been launched to benefit refugees through Islamic Relief USA. You can support the effort here
Tune in to this episode to hear more from the creators of Free. Join the discussion on how you can help, and learn some tips for new artists who want to use their talents to create inspiring content to make a difference.