Listen to the Banned


“This is a collection of songs from artists around the world who have faced censorship or had their music banned. These artists and other like them in the different corners of the world must have the right to exist and freely express their feelings and opinions through their art. We can not allow our freedom of expression to be compromised. Music must not be silenced” – Deeyah Khan

Listen to the Banned is a unique collection of contemporary songs by artists who have been censored, persecuted, taken to court, imprisoned and even tortured for a very simple reason – their music.

Music brings joy and gives a voice to the “voiceless” – a power that earns the condemnation of intolerant religious leaders and dictators alike.
Presented by Freemuse and Deeyah the compilation is a unique musical statement by artists who are united in one single, important issue – the protection of the freedom of musical expression, a freedom many take for granted.

Their stories are told in the accompanying booklet. They include the story of Lapiro de Mbanga, who is currently imprisoned in Cameroon for a song critical of his country’s President and the story of Mahsa Vahdat, prevented from performing solo shows in her native country Iran.
Freemuse is the only international organisation dedicated to protecting musicians and composers’ right to freedom of expression. The CD has been compiled by Deeyah Khan, an artist who has stopped performing having endured constant intimidation and physicals threats throughout her career.