The Calais Sessions - Yesus

Song of the Day
Hosted by Darek Mazzone
Today’s song, featured on Wo'Pop with Darek Mazzone in recognition of World Refugee Day, is "Yesus" by The Calais Sessions, from the 2016 album The Calais Sessions on The Calais Sessions Records.
Photo by Sarah Hickson

In honor of World Refugee Day on Thursday, June 21st, this week's Songs of the Day were chosen by DJ Darek Mazzone, host of Wo'Pop, our modern global radio show on the air Tuesday nights from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. 

From January 2015 to October 2016, a refugee and migrant camp stood on the eastern edge of Calais, France. Referred to as "The Jungle," the conditions were described as "squalid" and "unsanitary," and by November 2015, there was an "estimated 6,000 migrants" living there.  It was around this time that a group of UK musicians traveled to the encampment, looking to see if anyone wanted to "collaborate, rehearse, write, perform and record" music with them. The result was The Calais Sessions, a self-produced, self-released album whose proceeds benefit Citizens UK, a charity working to reunite unaccompanied refugee children with family members in the UK.

Today's featured track was recorded by a choir of Eritrean women calling themselves The Evangelist Church Singers who had constructed a makeshift chapel within the camp. They were eager participants in the process, collaborating on harmonies and asking when they could record again. Sadly, shortly after the recording session, their church was bulldozed. The entire encampment was evicted in early November 2016. 

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