Using music to fight ebola: How we can all get involved

Using music to fight ebola: How we can all get involved

Making music and making change have always gone hand in hand, as our agit8 campaign last year showed.  And pop and protest are back this week, with a LOT of coverage surrounding Bob Geldof and Midge Ure’s re-banding and re-branding of Band Aid to combat the Ebola crisis. As our co-founder Bono just said in Berlin:

The Ebola crisis is stirring not just policy makers.  Artists and musicians are coming together to play their part.  African artists are leading the way, the rest of us following.  I’m proud to add my voice.

Music can raise money to deal with this crisis – but it can also be a vital part of awareness-raising that can actually save lives.  In recent weeks stars from across Africa have recorded a song to help people know how they can protect themselves from the disease.

The song, Africa Stop Ebola, features a stellar line up including Malian musicians Amadou & Mariam, Salif Keita, Oumou Sangaré and Kandia Kouyaté, the Guinean singers Mory Kante and Sia Tolno, the Ivorian reggae star Tiken Jah Fakoly, the Congolese vocalist Barbara Kanam and the Senegalese rapper Didier Awadi.

In Liberia, Unicef and the Liberian government have worked with local artist F.A. to produce the song “Ebola is Real” to tell citizens how to protect themselves from the disease.

Meanwhile in London musicians including Ed Sheeran, Angelique Kidjo, One Direction, Sam Smith, Bastille, Chris Martin and ONE’s co-founder Bono will be recording the new version of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ on Saturday which will air for the first time on the UK TV show the X Factor the following day.

Lots of us weren’t born when the first Band Aid song came out 30 years ago! But we know how it moved a generation to action, and how it inspired many to go on and create great campaigns like Make Poverty History and Drop the Debt.  So we’re excited to hear how this new version will sound, with new lines and new voices. And of course, it’s great that it will raise (we hope) a lot of money to help right now in the fight against Ebola, with all the money raised going to brilliant organisations working there right now, including through the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC).

You can be close to the action by following the recording of the song on Saturday via the BAND APP. This will give you exclusive access to footage from inside the studio. All proceeds from the app will go directly to the Band Aid Trust and be used to help the Ebola crisis.

And you can buy the Africa Stop Ebola song here with all profits going to Medecins Sans Frontiers.

In the week when the the World Health Organisation has announced that the total number of deaths from Ebola has surpassed 5,000, it’s great to see musicians around the world lending their support.

As a global community we have waited too long to respond effectively and now it is time to do something about it.

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