Musicians Shine a Light on Human Rights

December 17, 2009

It’s amazing the power that music has to inspire people to stand up for what they believe in.  And it’s also amazing how human rights inspire musicians.  There’s a trio of artists who lent their voices this past Human Rights Day and they each have a unique story of their own…

Tom Morello, a talented guitar player, has social activism streaming through his blood.  His mother founded the anti-censorship group, Parents for Rock and Rap and his father was Kenya’s first UN ambassador, so Tom’s long term involvement with social justice and human rights, comes as no surprise.  Amnesty International and Tom Morello have been partnering together for many years (along with his NGO, Axis of Justice).  His most recent collaboration is a duo of cover tunes that he recorded for the Lime Wire Store’s Live at Lime Sessions.  The music was released on December 10, Human Rights Day and proceeds from the sale of these songs were in benefit to Amnesty International. Aside from the songs, there was also a fascinating interview with Henry Rollins and Tom Morello,  about major issues that face all of us.

After an inspiring trip to South Africa,  26-year-old keyboardist, vocalist, composer, and songwriter Salvador Santana decided to use his music as a way to give back to those in need.  His new album, Keyboard City doesn’t come out until February, but Salvador is giving a song away, “Truth Fears No Questions,” for free in honor of Amnesty’s Global Write-a-Thon and the Women Of Atenco, with  the hope of inspiring action.

Finally, Portishead, the UK based, Mercury Prize winning band, wrote a song for Amnesty International in honor of Human Rights day: “Chase the Tear.” It is available as an exclusive download single from 7 digital from 10 December, with all earnings going towards Amnesty’s human rights work and all rights given to the organization.

Let’s toast to these amazing musicians for lending their talent to human rights and showing the world that through music, you can shine a light on those who are in darkness.

This post was contributed by Karen Scott, Music for Human Rights.