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Freedom To Sing

Music In Detention is proud to present Freedom To Sing, a unique collection of cover versions of songs originally written in UK Immigration Removal Centres.

Back in February 2018 we launched our call to action as part of  ‘20 Simple Acts for 20 years of Refugee Week' inviting choirs from far and wide to ‘Sing A Song’ written in detention. We asked choirs to record their versions and share them as a way of helping us bring the music of people held in immigration removal centres to new audiences in new arrangements.

We have been so inspired by the versions we received that we wanted to put them together in this very special collection which we have called, Freedom To Sing.

The collection will be updated as more songs comes in, but for now, the first four tracks featured are as follows:


1.All I Need -  Soulful Choir (Coventry), led by Mamajay

Featuring: Mamajay (lead vocals) with Soulful Choir. James Cannock (keyboard, piano, bass guitar and drums), Bobby George (acoustic rhythm guitar)  and Jake Hackett(Lead Guitar)


2. Freedom, oh Freedom – Sing for a Change! (Hackney, London), arranged by Sara Hunter

Recorded by Max Bandicoot, performed by Sing for a Change! A social justice, community organising, choir based in Hackney using the power of music to transform society one song at a time!


3.Home – Byrdsong, arranged by Nathan J. Waring

Performed by Byrdsong, a choir of professional, semi-professional and amateur singers specialising in Renaissance music. Conducted by Katie Hawks. Byrdsong are: Liz Kelly, Rachel Taylor, Clare Bowskill, Jackie Cassell, Maria Birch, Pascale Calcutt, Dan Johnston, Matt Jelf, Roger Floyd and Reuben James.


4. Song of Freedom – Samphire Ex-Detainee 2018 conference delegates, led by Sally Jaquet and Xi-mali


5. Never Give Up - Choir with No Name Birmingham, led by Pete Churchill

6. All My Trials Lord & Circle of Life, led by Jane Nkolarakis

7. Human - Street Choirs Festival 2018 ft. Marshall Mandiangu (arr. Kirsty Martin)


We would like to thank the following people, without whom, this collection would not have been made possible:

Mamajay, Sara Hunter, Max Bandicoot, Nathan J. Waring, Katie Hawks, Sally Jaquet, John Strange, Emily Churchill Zaraa, James Cannock from One Nation Studios, Coventry. And of course all the singers and musicians from Soulful Choir, Sing for a Change!, Byrdsong and the enthusiastic attendees of the 2018 Samphire Ex-Detainee Conference, the Choir with No Name Birmingham, Pete Churchill, Hullabaloo Community Quire, Kirsty Martin, Nicola Bryson, Marshall Mandiangu.

Thanks also to:

Hillz FM, Samphire, Refugee Week, Street Choirs Festival 2018


All I Need - Soulful Choir

Soul, R&B, Reggae


Freedom oh, Freedom - Sing for a Change!

A capella


Home - Byrdsong



Song of Freedom - Samphire Ex-Detainee Conference 2018

Choir, reggae


Never Give Up - RW Scratch Choir Birmingham

Folk Gospel


All My Trials Lord & Circle of Life - Custom Voices

hymn folk disney


Human - Street Choirs Festival 2018 ft. Marshall Mandiangu

Rap, hip-hop, gospel

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