New Delhi, March 3, 2015: Music has always been the voice of people; be it underground independent artists talking about taboo issues to renowned names like John Lennon, U2, Michael Jackson and Bob Geldof using their music to raise awareness for global causes. The power of music has the ability to rally people, uniting them to stand up for what’s right.
Celebrating this right to freedom of creative expression, Teamwork Arts, a versatile entertainment company pioneering in the performing arts space, presents the 2015 edition of the Sounds of Freedom (SOF) Concert. The day long concert, aimed at the youth, is being held on March 3rd at the Amity University. SOF not only gives renowned artists, as well as scores of young musicians and audiences, a platform to ‘Be the Voice’ but also to share ideas on social inclusion. It is a celebration of theright to freedom of creative expression, a theme that is highlighted by Teamwork Arts and is celebrated across the world through various festivals and events, including the recently concluded ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival. The powerful platform of SOF provides an unprecedented experience to the youth, encouraging dialogue and chance to promote equality amongst genders.
On the lines of last year’s celebrated concert, which hosted an incredible line up of musicians such as Kailash Kher, Bob Geldof, Vikku Vinayak Ram among others, the 2015 edition continues to highlight freedom of creative expression with Indie groups showcasing a combination of unusual and popular music.
UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia and founder of the MARD (Men against Rape & Discrimination) Campaign,Farhan Akthar, along with his band Farhan LIVE headlines at the 2015 SOF Concert. The line-up at SOF 2015 includes The Raghu Dixit Project performing their unique brand of infectious, happy music to propagate the idea of ‘freedom to be’;MadBoy/Mink with their electric live sets featuring songs on observations about life; Tritha Electric’s powerful reflections on women empowerment; folk musicians of The Kutle Khan Project and all women folk group Dindigul Sakthi Drummers. The SOF Concert also features performances of Vocal Rasta, an a cappella troupe from The Yuva Ekta Foundation and Teamwork Arts, dedicated to celebrating freedom of creative expression. The winners of SOF Battle Zone, a college contest for young musicians to showcase their ideas, including River – an all-girls band supported by UCB, and Hans Raj Projekt also share the stage with leading musicians at the concert.
This year, Teamwork Arts has partnered with UN Women to highlight the issues of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment, enlisting supporters for the #HeForShe Campaign. Along with the performing artists, UN Women Goodwill Ambassadors Sania Mirza and Farhan Akhtar are supporting the SOF Concert, urging young audiences, especially boys and men, to stand up for women, speak out against gender discrimination and violence against women with the #HeForShe Campaign. Emma Watson is also reaching out to Harry Potter fans across the world and in India with a special message for the campaign.
Expressing his excitement for the concert, Farhan Akhtar says, “Sounds of Freedom is a great platform that will help engage hearts and minds through art and music for a gender equal world. I’d like to see more people come forward to support the cause with us at MARD and HeForShe.”
Mr. Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts says, “At Teamwork Arts we constantly think of events that act as cultural catalysts, giving people a democratic platform for debate and discussion. Through ‘Sounds of Freedom’, we hope to use music as a powerful tool for creative expression, steering conversations among the youth and encouraging them to share thoughts and ideas on social issues without fear of discrimination. This year we are delighted to associate with UN Women and encourage youth to stand up in unison to support the ‘HeForShe’ campaign.”
Led by UN Women, the concert is also a precursor to the world leaders coming together to discuss issues on gender equality around the world at the UN Summit in September 2015. To raise voice against gender inequality, the concert focuses on the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Beijing Conference on gender.
Dr. Rebecca Reichmann Tavares, UN Women’s Representative for India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka says, “UN Women is delighted to partner with the Sounds of Freedom, a unique and innovative platform that brings together some of the world’s most renowned artists to mobilize the youth on important social issues through music, art and poetry. It is our privilege that SOF 2015 focuses on UN Women’s HeforShe campaign, a global solidarity movement that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other. Though the struggle ‘for women by women’ remains central to our agenda, the campaign is a radical departure from that standpoint and engages men and boys as agents of change in achieving gender equality. The support of young people is crucial in taking this agenda forward.”
Partnering with the SOF cause, United Colours of Benneton has created an Expression Wall where young can people come together and paint freely, express what they are passionate about and showcase their creative ideas on social inclusion. Young enthusiasts can also engage with a number of NGO’s supporting issues ranging promoting Social Justice, social inclusion for the Differently Abled, Animal Rights and LGBT issues, all coming together under one roof to “Be the Voice” of freedom at a specially created Expression Zone at the venue.
In addition to the SOF concert and activities, Teamwork Arts also been promoting the idea of creative expression through a series of engaging activities around town including the SOF ‘Battle Zone’ – a competition for musicians across colleges in Delhi & NCR, giving their voice and their music a chance to be heard. The SOF Battle Zone winners – River, an all-girls band supported by UCB, and Hans Raj Projekt get a chance to share the stage at the SOF Concert in-front of an engaging crowd of passionate young souls.
Young performers and volunteers of the SOF outreach programme have been engaging with audiences at the SOF Battle Zone in various colleges as well as at catchment areas across Delhi NCR. Vocal Rasta’s outreach included their repertoire of popular renditions of thought provoking songs while their sister group Natya Rasta performed their hugely engaging street play “Gender Bender” that takes a look at the social conditioning, attitudes and beliefs that lie at the core of social and gender discrimination. The outreach programme also encouraged audiences to support the cause of freedom of creative expression including signing up for UN Women’s #HeForShe campaign. Vocal Rasta and Natya Rasta are both also at the concert, continuing to spread awareness on issues of freedom and equality
In its first year, SOF received a great response from young musicians who came together to create original artworks, music compositions, lyrics, poetry, street plays, writings and photographs centered around the theme of freedom of expression. A special anthem was also created by Kailash Kher
This year, the day-long event provides a powerful platform for musicians, human rights activists, and thousands of people to join hands in their efforts to raise consciousness and encourage freedom of expression, dialogue and discussion towards inclusive social change.