In collaboration with talented musicians from around the world, musician Peter Gabriel performs “Biko” again, honoring the South African activist Stephen Biko, one of the most prominent leaders in the anti-apartheid struggle. Biko died while in custody on September 12, 1977. It is said he was tortured. It is also said he was on a hunger strike and refused to eat. He had been detained in August of the same year.
“You can blow out a candle
But you can’t blow out a fire
Once the flames begin to catch
The wind will blow it higher.”
The song was already powerful and it remained in the memory of those who listened to it in the 80’s. Add now the connection and synchronicity created by musicians of the same kind while playing from wherever in the world they are, and you’ll have a Biko song that can make people cry in awe and inspiration.
Peter Gabriel first released it in 1980. Biko is a musical eulogy that became a personal landmark for the musician, sparking his involvement in human rights activism. The protest song also inspired people across continents and it is considered one of the most influential songs in regards to South Africa, where it was actually banned as it was considered a threat to national security.
40 years later, in December 2020, the remake of Biko was presented by “Playing for Change,” in social media and live streaming, celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations. In February 2021, the song was presented again in celebration of Peter Gabriel’s birthday (February 13th).
Playing For Change is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music, born from the shared belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people.
The song and video was produced by Sebastian Robertson and Mark Johnson. Peter Gabriel is accompanied by Angélique Kidjo, Yo-Yo Ma, and an outstanding list of musicians from Spain, India, the USA and South Africa.
Here is the complete list of participating artists: Angélique Kidjo (Benin), Dynamic Music Collective (USA), Peter Gabriel (UK), Jason Tamba (Congo), Meshell Ndegeocello (USA), Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe (USA), Sebastian Robertson (USA), Silkroad (USA), Silkroad’s Cristina Pato (Spain), Silkroad’s Yo-Yo Ma (USA), TAIKOPROJECT (USA), The Cape Town Ensemble (South Africa), Tushar Lall (India).
-Lupita Franco Peimbert @Lupitanews