We have launched a new creative series called SONGS OF EQUALITY. As part of this Academy artists past and present will REMIX / REFIX an existing song that is themed around EQUALITY. They have only 48 hours to create the new song which must be a rework or remix of the original.

The series kicked off with IAmKyami who reworked Zayn’s ‘Borders’. Explaining her choice of song and the process she states “I decided to switch up the narrative of a very popular song – Borders by Zayn…I decided I wanted to go down the more singer songwriter route with this one and bash out a power ballad. I think the final outcome is something I can be proud of but more importantly, I’m proud of the message I’m sending with this work; the BLM movement isn’t just a trend or a fad that should fade with time. It’s a literal matter of life or death for many and we need to prioritize change and government reform for a better future”

Listen to the song below:

Little Grace x Tee reworked Black Eyes Peas’ ‘Where Is The Love?’ as part of the LIMF Academy’s SONGS OF EQUALITY series.

Little Grace said, “I remember first hearing ‘Where Is The Love?’ when I was about 9; it was the first time I checked my privilege. I felt the empowerment, and the need for togetherness. The fact that the original track holds weight still to this day gives reason for a remix with revisited lyrics. We just hope that the people who hear this know that we stand with the black communities around the globe, and our future and past generations can be made aware of the atrocities that systematic racism has allowed by the hand of the British empire”.

Tee says, “This is one of those songs where when it first came out, it was massive, but I don’t think the lyrics truly came across as powerful as they were because they were presented in a ‘pop song.’ So for me its always been a song that has the potential for the power in it to always be brought out. The reason why I think it was worth picking, was because even though this song came out in 2003, it is scarily relevant today. I’m hoping that this time around, because of the way the world is at the moment, this time we are actually on the cusp of real change”.

Artist and Producer LUNA reworks John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ as part of the LIMF Academy’s SONGS OF EQUALITY series.

LUNA states, “When it comes to songs about equality, Imagine is one of the first to spring to mind. The vocal melody is so powerful, it acts as a useful tool to deliver a strong message. So, I changed the lyrics of ‘Imagine’ to be more relevant to now – highlighting the Black Lives Matter movement, and the global fight for justice and equality. I didn’t want to distract away from this message, so the arrangement is simple, leaving vocals as the main focus.”

Singer-songwriter Michael Aldag takes on ‘All You Need Is Love’ by The Beatles – flipping it nicely.

Michael says ““I chose the track because the core message is so simple and pure. It preaches unity and togetherness which I think is beautiful and ever-relevant. Musically, my aim was to recreate the song with a focus on its cinematic and emotional qualities. Lyrically, the changes I made in the verses were in an attempt to relate the song to current circumstances”

Lydiah x Aron from 2019’s LIMF Academy cohort collaborate on a remix of MIA’s ‘Borders’ as part of the LIMF Academy Songs of Equality Series!

ARON explains “We chose Borders by MIA, mainly because we think the subjects of the song is hyper relevant and important. It’s asking questions about the state of the world and  how many of us fight for freedom, but in a self-centred way. Instead of “me” we should think “we.” It’s a very different song from what both of us normally do, so we made our own slow down version of it, and had some friends join us on strings, and focused a lot on the vocal arrangements. It’s got a little bit of a mystical vibe to it, which we liked“.

Lydiah adds, “The track itself is extremely political and touches on many current day issues such as police brutality, white privilege and the new world. M.I.A. herself is a refugee which makes the song even more hard hitting and raw. The track itself is very different to our usual styles which is another reason why we wanted to use it. Because of the lyrical content, we decided to create more of a ballad layout for the track to amplify the lyrics and complete change the instrumentation of the song. We wanted to start the song acapella to fully focus on the vocals and lyrics before gradually building the instrumentation with piano, guitar and violin throughout the song. It was important to keep it minimal so the lyrics and vocals would stand out”.

The always Uber-creative DELIAH remix Genesis’ ‘Land of Confusion’ as part of the LIMF Academy Songs of Equality Series!

Discussing the track Shell said “Choosing a song was very difficult. With the BLM movement at the forefront of our mind our obvious starting point was to listen to, and try to understand, many of the incredible songs written by black artists. However, it didn’t feel right to use the voice of these artists, given the fact that we can never understand their struggles. So when ‘Land of Confusion’ came on shuffle it was like a being smacked in the face with nostalgia. I was brought up on this music, and it tells the story I want to support from a side of history I understand”.

Dop added, “For me this song encapsulates what it means to protest. The lyrics are angry, yet they are about love. They point out those who are to blame but, by calling the track ‘Land Of Confusion’, they bring in all of those people who are naive or ignorant to the issues. The one lyric I had a problem with was “My generation will put it right, we’re not just making promises that we know we’ll never keep”, because that generation hasn’t put it right. However, through working on the track and updating it, I realise that the lyrics show that it’s up to every generation to continue to put things right”.

Super-soulful singer-songwriter Tori Cross presents a remix of Tracy Chapman’s ‘Talkin’ ‘Bout A Revolution’ as part of the LIMF Academy Songs of Equality Series! Tori said, “With my remix I wanted to portray how we’ve been talking about change and equality for a long time; this movement is nothing new. I switched up the drum beat after the instrumental and wanted to represent that this movement feels different. Possibly due to lockdown, it feels like the spotlight has been shone onto BLM. I included the Meghan Markle quote at the end as I feel like it really encompasses what this movement is about. The drums also represent the momentum that needs to be kept up until we really are all on an equal footing”.

Dynamic producer-artist New Junior remixes John Legend’s ‘It Don’t Have to Change’ as part of the LIMF Academy Songs of Equality Series! As expected, New Junior creates something fresh and new. New Junior said “I chose the song because it’s a song from the first album that truly got me into making and performing music (the John Legend ‘Get Lifted’ album). It’s a song that is about togetherness, also shown by JL performing it with his family, which is such an important lesson in our current lives. I have retained the vocal focussed approach to the remix of the song, but adapted the lyrics to be about looking at yourself and asking more of yourself to promote equality and understanding by actively educating yourself and those around you“.

Singer-songwriter Katy Alex takes on the LIMF Academy Songs of Equality Challenge. Over a 48 hour period she took to remixing Bob Marley’s ‘One Love. A great challenge and an incredible flip on a classic.

Katy Alex said, “I chose to rework One Love after hearing a piano sample on Splice, the chords instantly reminded me of the chorus from Bob Marley’s great hit. Harmonising vocals is my thing, so immediately I knew my chorus was going to be flushed with vocals, I really wanted to create a choir-vibe, using lyrics from the original track. The thing I’ve enjoyed most about this challenge is learning new production and mastering skills. I found myself looking for the best ways to make my song and mix as perfect as I possibly could, the song holds such a powerful message so I wanted that to shine through. I hope when people are listening to this song they feel warmth and love from the lyrics, and understand the message of ‘We are stronger together’, which hopefully comes out in the choir-like chorus vocals“.

Alternative singer-songwriter and producer, Astles takes the LIMF Academy Songs of Equality challenge. Taking the classic Bob Dylan song and making it his own in only 48 hours.

Astles says, “I originally picked the song because it has such a pure plain put message, protesting about some of the worlds biggest injustices. I wanted to convey this still, but change parts to modernise some of the themes, and to suggest that the answers could be within our reach if we work together to rid our societies of prejudice. I ended up keeping some of the lyrics as they still cut through as truth, even over 50 years on. I recorded the refix in my flat over two days, working with my flat mates with extra cello recorded by Matt Phillips”.

Artist and producer, Mary Miller takes up the final LIMF Academy Songs of Equality challenge. Mary said, “I chose ‘Power To The People’ because I wanted to pick a song that spoke about injustices in authority and rising up against that. There’s a lot about the BLM movement of today that echoes the radical politics of the 60s and 70s; fighting against police brutality, the civil rights movement, stonewall etc. so I wanted to use that to make some kind of ‘fight the power’ statement – as humans have done throughout history to make a better world for all! I hope the song will inspire people to speak up more often, so we can all work together to fight injustice and create equality“.