12 banned songs from 12 different countries. That is the concept of my fourth studio album. The idea was born when I first heard a song older than myself, about the Israeli officer Eli Geva who withdrew from the Lebanon war in 1982. The song had never been released due to being “too provocative at the time”.
It was a beautiful and powerful song, which made me ask myself ‘Why hasn’t anybody been allowed to hear this before now?’. The answer to my question got me scared. Through making this album I discovered how many forms of censorship there are, even in our parts of the world, even today.
The new album contains translated and reworked songs from countries such as Russia, Mexico, China and Vietnam, but also songs from my parts of the world such as Norway, England and the US. Many of the writers who penned the songs are still imprisoned, exiled or persecuted. Some were even killed, like the Chilean folk legend Victor Jara or the Algerian rebel singer Matoub Lounes.
It is cold comfort, I know, but their songs will live on, not only through this album. It is an album to understand those who gave everything they had for their music, and an album to honour their courage.