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Healing touch 

In his latest work, Grammy award winner Ricky Kej has collaborated with Afghan refugees to bring out a musical composition that captures the trials and tribulations faced by Afghan artistes

Published: 28th September 2021 06:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th September 2021 06:58 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The recent months have unfolded the horror Afghans have been subject to. While some were able to flee the country, others continue to live in fear under the Taliban regiment. Some artistes who had fled the country early on have collaborated with city-based Grammy award winner Ricky Kej to bring out a musical composition that captures their emotions. In the recently-released video called Farda - Song for Afghans, artiste Abi K Safa expresses the pain behind the life of a refugee. With haunting lyrics, sublime music and powerful vocals, the song is about the trials and tribulations faced by Afghan artistes in their everyday lives. 

Kej worked with the artistes on this project as part of his initiative with the United Nations called ‘Ricky with Refugee’. He says, “I was introduced to 24 refugee artistes from Afghanistan and Myanmar. These are professional artistes who had to flee the country and all of them have their own set of horror stories to share. I’ve been mentoring them once a week through webinars for the last few months – teaching them music, the business of  copyrights, songwriting and so on.” 

Composed by Abi K Safa and Mehran Fanoos, with lyrics by Noor Ahmad Payeez, the song is arranged by Mehran Fanoos. The video has been directed, filmed and edited by Farid Jalil.  The songis now available 
on YouTube. “Safa was forced to flee in 2017 and has been living in India ever since. He’s a musician who works for social impact, especially in the field of education. He’s constantly living in fear of threats and greatly worries about his family,” explains Kej.

There’s a sense of hope that the song conveys. Which is why it’s titled Farda which means ‘tomorrow’ in Parsi. “About seven years ago, I decided to stop doing commercial music and work towards projects that have a positive social impact. I felt that it’s my responsibility to help others do that too,” 
says Kej.

Even as fear continues to loom for those in Afghanistan, the artistes are trying to stay in touch with friends and family back home. Kej says, “Some of them have family back home and are extremely worried all the time. But as indie artistes, they are doing their best to hold on and make a living in another country. They are focusing on how the sea of social media can be used to share their message. It’s a difficult path 
but we are doing everything we can to make them feel at home; and they are doing their best to speak 
through music.”



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