Tony Cummings reports on the latest single by electro pop team OOBERFUSE
London's electro pop duo Ooberfuse, whose radio hits include "Still Love My Enemies", "Why Oh Why" and "One Reality" and who have a long track record of making music that speaks of the pains and injustices blighting our troubled world, have released one of their most important singles ever.
To commemorate Pope Francis' planned visit to Western Iraq this month, Ooberfuse have released "Stand Up", a collaboration with Iraqi priest Father Daniel Alkhory. The Pope will be visiting the vacated towns of Mosul and Quaraqosh in Western Iraq to give voice to the anxieties of the traumatised and to encourage them to remain in their ancient homelands.
On his 16th birthday in 2006, Alkhory received a death threat from terrorist groups and had to leave Baghdad in 24 hours, otherwise he was going to be killed. He said, "After that I discovered the call of God and decided to become a priest, changing my misery into ministry." His church became a shelter for thousands of displaced people fleeing their homes because of ISIS attacks. He currently lives in Iraq and is a strong advocate for the persecuted Iraqis. He said, "I work day and night to strengthen the hope in their hearts to stay in Iraq. I met Ooberfuse in 2015 and we became good friends united in our shared desire to nourish hope in the face of despair. Our song 'Stand Up' is an anthem of encouragement and a plea for peace to prevail."
Explained Cherrie Anderson from Ooberfuse, "We were doing some improvised pop up performances in the displacement camps run by the United Nations and Father Daniel. We would set up our sound system and with Father Daniel bring some respite to the traumatised. I am so happy to work on this song with Fr Daniel to bring encouragement and to make unheard voices more audible."
Hal St John of Ooberfuse added, "There is no looking back to sadder days but only looking forwards to a brighter future. The displaced are largely returned to their homes so we are privileged to be part of Father Daniel's mission to sustain these fragile communities and to build their resilience. We have been working night and day to collaborate and to make our track as celebratory as possible. After a Master Class with Armin Van Buuren and some production excellence from Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios our collaboration 'Stand Up' is released. Love will rule again to end the hate that has plagued Iraq and the Middle East."The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.