“I don’t understand how you could ban a man from a land that was said to be a beacon of light,” raps RZA of Wu-Tang Clan in the politically pressing single “No Refuge,” a collaboration with electronic duo PARISI that premiers today on Beats 1 and is released by the new label ROLI Records.
Galvanizing action at a time when refugee families are struggling to settle in the US and elsewhere, the song resonates in beat and message. All proceeds from streams and sales of the song will be donated to the UNHCR — the United Nations Refugee Agency — to aid the ongoing refugee crisis.
“This is the moment to speak out about the values of love and acceptance,” said RZA. “Like I say in the song, it’s time to make America great again — not filled with bigotry and hate again. My friends the Parisi brothers have seen refugees struggle in their homeland, and I’m seeing the same in mine. Working together on ‘No Refuge’ has been a great act in more ways than one.”
The single marks the breakout of PARISI, a technologically cutting-edge duo who co-wrote the recent will.i.am single “FIYAH.” Marco and Jack Parisi are brothers from Salerno, Italy, and their sound is an eclectic blend of individual yet related musical styles. Deep basses and classic harmonies come together from Jack’s love of hip-hop drums and Marco’s love of pop, jazz, and classical music. In addition to working with will.i.am and RZA, PARISI has collaborated with Rudimental, Noah “40” Shebib, and PartyNextDoor.
“No Refuge” is the first song ever to be produced entirely on BLOCKS and the Seaboard RISE, the next-generation musical instruments from ROLI. It is the first release on ROLI Records, a new label from the music creation startup that is working with artists pushing the boundaries of innovation in music.
“‘No Refuge’ is part of a very exciting album that we’re releasing later this year,” said Marco Parisi. “We’re honored to share this beautiful song today, because it addresses a global issue that becomes more relevant with each passing day.”
A striking music video of “No Refuge” also releases today. Directed by Ben Strebel of Sovage in close collaboration with the creative agency Stay in School, the video depicts a group of refugees travelling across a misty landscape that could be anywhere. The group breaks into a syncopated dance that loops the endless, halting movements of people displaced from their homes. “The film shows each individual on a journey that’s forced on them — with no destination in sight,” Ben said. “My interpretation of the song drew on the personal history of forced migration that my family experienced 60 years ago.”
“No Refuge” premiers today on Zane Lowe’s show on Beats 1 and is immediately available on iTunes, Apple Music, and Beats 1. From March 28 it will be available on Spotify, Deezer and other platforms. Stream the song today to hear a remarkable collaboration between the rapper-poet of Wu-Tang Clan and an up-and-coming brotherly duo who are at the forefront of electronic music production.
PARISI feat. RZA
I don't understand how you could ban a man
from a land that was said to be a beacon of light
for men escaping the plight of tyranny
and the weary poverty stricken children who are sincerely
innocent to the bombs that dropped on their cities
that caused disfigurement and injuries
or the women who seek education and medicine
but are spiritually oppressed by those who don't understand
the prophet's teachings clearly
As the yearly death toll rises in Syria
creating more refugees, how can we dispute the truth
that the seeds of man all fall down from the same tree?
I'm an innocent immigrant trying to emigrate
to the land built by immigrants
where the face of a former slave
became the face of the president
where the hearts of the depraved men
once boarded ships and crossed the oceans
searching for a place to practice their religion out in the open
and thus the country was made (yes)
let's make America great again
but not a place that's filled with bigotry, racism and hate again
Let's fulfill the need of all men, from city streets to coal mines
but don't forget that humanity is the gold mine
I wanna fall at the feet of Lady Liberty
from the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream
to the land of the brave, and the free
where there's freedom of speech, freedom to teach
but they won't let me in, no they won't let me in
Jack and Marco Parisi shared a brotherhood immersed in music. Their earliest memories are of living room jams with their father, a professional keyboard player, at their home in Salerno, Italy. Now based in London, the duo are virtuosic multi-instrumentalists. PARISI are committed to incorporated the latest technology in their productions. They have pioneered the use of the Seaboard RISE and ROLI BLOCKS — next-generations instruments that were released in 2015 and 2016 — in live performances and studio productions. They have collaborated with leading artists including Will.i.am, RZA, PartyNextDoor, Noah “40” Shebib, and Sounwave (Kendrick Lamar).
The UNHCR is the world’s premier international body dedicated to improving the lives of refugees and advocating for policies that alleviate the social and economic pressures of refugee migration. Funded by over 100 governments, it supports an array of projects ranging from legally preparing asylum seekers to providing on-the-ground assistance teams during humanitarian disasters. More information can be found at www.unhcr.org.