While the weather in Springfield, Massachusetts on Monday September 22, was on the chilly side, the Springfield College Student Union was filled with the warm embrace of the music and message of Rock For Human Rights.
Founded in 2011, the band began with the purpose of educating the public on the 30 human rights that everyone on Earth has according to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was drafted by the United Nations over 60 years ago.
Throughout September and October 2014, the band will be on tour across the country looking to spread their message through song. Making a stop at Springfield College, accomplished musician Wil Seabrook and talented Zimbabwean vocalist Alexio Kawar are looking to spread their message across the country.
Their songs, which were a mix of folk and soft rock, conveyed the message of 30 human rights (which were all detailed in a small pamphlet handed out by Wil himself). In between each song, either Wil or Alexio, who is visiting the United States for the first time, would step behind the mic and introduce themselves, or speak about their motives.
“When I first learned of these 30 human rights,” Alexio explained, “I knew that every human should have these at birth.”
The 35-year-old Zimbabwe native grew up with four other siblings, all of which have a musical background as well. Along with his musical group “Guess”, Kawara began releasing albums as early as 2000, and he began to gain steam as an artist, quickly becoming one of the most popular artists to come out of his home country, while his cultural music blends well with the rock-oriented styling’s of the rest of the band.
First year Tommy Laydon was among the spectators who got a chance to witness the musical embrace.
“Frankly I think was an incredible performance,” Tommy stated. “The incorporation of the other language and the diversity it embraced is similar to that of Springfield College. I think that could have been a deciding factor in signing them to play.”
It seemed as if the message and the general ideas of the group were being picked up by the spectators, even if they didn’t plan on attending the show in the first place. “I was actually there just to eat, but it was a pretty good show.”
Laydon wasn’t the only freshman in attendance; Ben Ryan was also in the audience to view the performance.
“It’s hard to pinpoint one area of the show that was the best,” Ryan went on, “The music itself was good, but the message it sends is even better.”
Ben is musically inclined himself, so the show was right up his alley. “I think the lyrics were relatable, and they meshed well with the music, especially Alexio’s songs, even though they may have been in a different language.”
The night wrapped up just after 8:30 p.m as the band played their final tune, and Wil and Alexio said their goodbyes over the microphone. The students who took time out of their Monday evenings applauded the traveling team of musicians.
The group was set to leave for Pittsburgh, Pa., that night, and will perform on September 25. This all of course is part of their nationwide tour, with a booked schedule of venues to perform at.
It’s easy to get up on stage and read just the facts about human rights. It’s also incredibly easy to bore someone to tears in that exact same fashion.
Music; however, can peak the interests of many. It helps spread a vital message in a more relaxed manner, a way which is more receptive to people of all ages. Rock For Human Rights will be continuing on in this lyrical-based mission finding alternative means to educate the masses on an important topic.