Give A Home: Etta Bond tells us how music can help aid refugees

We sit down with Etta Bond to talk Give A Home and how musicians can lend their support to social causes.

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Amnesty International and Sofar Sounds’ Give A Home sessions are just under two weeks away now. The campaign sees musicians across the world taking to people’s homes and other public spaces for intimate shows in aid of the refugee crisis. The likes of Jon Hopkins, Hot Chip and Jessie Ware are all performing and its set to be one of biggest musical events this month. Tickets are available for free via a lottery system although donations to Amnesty international are encouraged, all money raised will go towards their work aiding refugees across the world.

We’ve already spoken to two of the organisers of the event who filled us in on how the campaign was born but we wanted to find out more from a musician’s perspective. To do this we grabbed some time with Etta Bond who’ll be playing the This Is Wired showcase on the day itself, alongside Emeli Sande and a host of other talent. The gig also take place at Sam ‘Son of Richard’ Branson’s house so if you’re able to get in, you get to snoop on how the other half live in the name of aiding refugees as well. Give A Home is undeniably a worthy cause and if you haven’t applied for tickets already then we’ll let Etta herself explain why you should.

Hey Etta. How did you get involved with Amnesty’s Give a Home campaign?

I was approached by This is Wired, run by my sister, Kate Bond. They have curated the line up, so I couldn’t say no really. It’s great to be asked. 

How important are issues like the refugee crisis to you?

Everyone deserves basic human rights. The tag line for this campaign is “everyone deserves a home – not just the memory of one” and I think that sums it up really.

Do you think musicians can / should do more to support causes like this?

I think we should all do more to support causes like this! But yes – everyone should give back when they can – musician or not.  

What do you think the role of culture is in political issues?

I think culture acts as mirror of the times. For example, my buddy Reuben Dangoor is a really clever illustrator and some of his images have gone massively viral. They are honest snapshots of the various situations we find our world in. Culture / music / art is a way of reflecting, expressing and ultimately dealing with it.

Did you worry that you might lose fans for being involved in something that’s seen as political?

I’m not worried at all. I’m not afraid to stand up for what I believe in. Besides, we’re living in a time that is pretty chaotic, you could say at times it feels like it’s going to shit, but the positive side of that is that people are coming together like never before, and that is pretty exciting. Plus in this case, coming together to celebrate music with an intimate audience; audiences that are gathering all over the wold at the same time to unite through music? That’s both beautiful and poetic.  

Who is your political icon? 

I would say I’m into spiritual icons. The Dalai lama, Chrissie Bond, Bob Marley.

Entry for Amnesty’s Give A Home sessions closes on September 10th with gigs taking place across the world on the 20th, apply for tickets here.

Featured image Rosie Matheson
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