My name is Jonas and I´m one of the singers and songwriters from the Skaburbian Collective, a Rock/Reggae band from northern Sweden. Johan Tieva, Kristofer Börlin, Fredrik Andersson and I started to play together around 2003. An open mind, love and friendship has however led to new members and a diversity in the origin of the band members.
Emmanuel came from the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as a refugee to Sweden. Our beautiful, safe and peaceful land. The country Emmanuel left behind was also beautiful, he told me. But it was not peaceful or safe. So he fled with his family … to find peace, safety and freedom….
It is centuries since Sweden last had a war on its soil. Many hundreds years ago since my people were forced to leave their homes in large numbers in seek of safe new lands to live and prosper in. Emmanuel can’t say the same about his own life history. But even though fate has determined that Emmanuel and I come from different backgrounds, we share a common love and appreciation for good friends and great music. These shared passions and values transcend any national borders or any prejudice and fears. Music brings us together and erases whatever differences we may have.
A song called Refugee…
I think the first line in our song Refugee powerfully describes the situation for millions of refugees around world.
“When the fire is bright and the earth is burning, land are closed for you, family in poverty moves slow, fear will visit them to”
When I wrote Refugee a couple of years ago, I experienced a feeling of hopelessness. I felt I was in safe, cocooned world and was powerless to reach out and help those in desperate need.
At the time I was writing the song, I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. I was lucky to have many choice, filled with opportunities and promising to take me in many directions. A typical, perhaps ‘luxurious’ dilemma in the northern Sweden and the so-called first world. At the time as I was studying and was very interested in politics, mainly global awareness in relation to environmental perspectives and refugee issues. I felt that some things in this world weren’t just right.
When you have to flee with your whole family because of war, poverty or terror and so on…with no belongings, without a plan, and no plan of where to go or how to get around; the rest, meaning, the rest of the worldwide community shore must be able to do something to make this world a better place. But how?
So far, I admit I haven’t personally solved any major issues concerning the refugee situation or its origins. I hope I will one day.
I hope my dear friend Emmanuel will love my forever and that his beautiful family will feel that Sweden were the right choice to settle down in. I hope my values will lead to that people I´ll meet will be influenced by my perspective and values regarding refugee related questions and that hatred, fear, isolation and lack of knowledge will not become a part of any discussion for my sons, their friends. Meanwhile I will continue to write songs and hopefully reach out with some words that can alter one or two misguided individuals with a narrow perspective.
Every musician is blessed with the opportunity to influence and motivate their audience. Whether they like it or not people will be affected by their message.
Hopefully this is used in the right way. World citizen artists is a great platform to extend the reach of your message beyond your regular audience and across the world. The artists are not held together by genre or style but solely on their passion, commitment and their efforts to move to the world in the right direction.
We wish “World Citizen Artists” a happy birthday and hope for many more to come.