“Fearless new album helping to shine a light on gay life in some of the world’s most repressive anti-gay countries” - Attitude
“Ground breaking” - Gay Times
Rainbow Riots is released today. It is a new album of music featuring LGBTQ artists from Uganda, Malawi and Jamaica - some of the most dangerous countries in the world for LGBTQ people.
The album features a fusion of afrobeat, electro, soul, pop, orchestral, rap, dancehall, gospel and spoken word, composed and produced by Swedish artist and activist, Petter Wallenberg.
Since the announcement of the album, media organisations from around the world have been reporting its release. This includes a news story from the Jamaican Observer and coverage in Indoniesia. Jamaica and Indonesia are famously two of the most homophobic nations in the world. The reporting of Rainbow Riots via this medium is testament to the political message behind the music.
Petter Wallenberg said: “The message is spreading around the world. That’s the power of music. Rainbow Riots is giving an international voice to people who are being silenced.”
Rainbow Riots is the first time most people will hear a Jamaican dance hall artist who is also a gay rights activist. This groundbreaking album also introduces the listener to the music of a queer rapper from Malawi, a queer South African rap crew and a whole array of LGBTQ artists from Uganda - often called the world’s most homophobic country. As one of the Ugandan artists puts it: “Our lives are already in danger - it doesn’t help if we keep quiet.”
During the recording of ‘Rainbow Riots’, Wallenberg attended Uganda Pride in August 2016, which was subsequently raided by the police. Wallenberg found himself completely immersed in the violent and shocking raid. The incident not only drove the project on, but bearing witness to the atrocities inspired the creation of a charity of the same name: Rainbow Riots is a global charity working for LGBTQ equality and rights. All proceeds from the sales of the album go towards the charity’s work towards ending discrimination against LGBTQ people around the world.
Wallenberg said: “Imagine that your very existence is a crime and that the police, authorities and lynch mobs chase you simply because you are who you are. This is reality of LGBTQ people in many countries around the world. I created Rainbow Riots as a movement to fight for freedom against tyranny”
The first track to be taken from the album is ‘Equal Rights’ - a song which has been picked up as part of the UN ‘Global Goals’ campaign: an initiative to end extreme poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030.