PJ Harvey_Ramy Essam_The Camp_packshot (credit Semaan Khawam + Giles Duley + Fabrica)
Single Set to Raise Much-Needed Awareness and Funding to Aid Displaced Children in the Lebanese Bekaa Valley
08 June 2017 (Toronto, ON)PJ Harvey and Egyptian recording artist Ramy Essam have come together to write and record “The Camp” – a track which they hope will raise awareness and much needed support towards the health and educational well-being of displaced children in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. “The Camp” will be released digitally on June 9.
Harvey and Essam recorded the track in Bristol with Harvey’s longtime collaborator John Parish. The artists will donate all net profits from the track to Beyond Association in the Bekaa Valley, a national Lebanese non-governmental organization.
Discussing how the project came to be, PJ Harvey explains how she instinctively knew that she wanted to collaborate with Essam. “I began putting some ideas on paper and sent over rough demos of two or three songs in their early forms,” recalls Harvey. One of these songs would ultimately become “The Camp”.
When discussing the subject matter of the track, Ramy Essam speaks of his experiences during the revolution in the streets of Egypt. “I dealt with fights, beatings, torture and the loss of friends,” he explains. While Essam’s struggle continues, he speaks fondly of the unique opportunity to work with PJ Harvey. “It was an honour to work with her. I found it so inspiring. It gave me a chance to live my dream for a while. She is a humble person and the type of true artist that I could only dream to even meet and now I’m singing with her for this important cause, for humanity.”
Photojournalist Giles Duley, whose arresting photographs are featured in the official music video reflected, ” I thought I had seen it all, but I can honestly say I have never been so overwhelmed by the human drama that I watched unfolding on those beaches. Its sheer scale was hard to comprehend. It is those images from the beaches, and the refugees’ journey from Greece to Germany that we used in the video for “The Camp”.

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