Song on Syria hits the right note for North East musicians

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Sunderland duo Adam Penman and Rob Burlinson have won an international songwriting competition with their refugee-crisis inspired single, Safe.

The song won the Indi.com original writing challenge by judges’ decision, netting the pair $250 in prize money.

“I was pretty shocked and immediately shared the good news on Facebook” said Adam Penman, a 27-year-old unsigned rapper from Thorney Close who in his spare time also sings for tribute band Rage Against A Machine.

“It felt good and it reminded me never to give up. I may be just a lad from Sunderland and not from London or New York, where most artists get signed these days, but you can get noticed no matter where you come from.”

Rob Burlinson, 26, a singer-songwriter from Town End Farm who plays guitar and sings on the track, said: “We did a video which was recorded in the studio which was great. Now it’s growing and growing and we’re both amazingly happy and grateful for all the support from our friends and families.”

Speaking about his inspiration for the song, Adam said: “I listen to BBC Radio 2 and Jeremy Vine speaks a lot about the immigration crisis. The comments during the phone in section would often infuriate me and the only way to express my emotions was to write a song.”

When asked how they planned to celebrate, the pair revealed their ambitious plans for the song.

Adam said: “Right now we just want to focus on getting a professional video produced and that costs big money, so hopefully the prize money from the competition and whatever we’ve made from digital sales so far (Safe is available on iTunes and Google Play) will fund the video production”

“Hopefully once a proper video is online it will reach a much bigger audience. Maybe then the song will make decent money, enough to make a difference to a charity working with poor families in Syria”.