“We Rise” is a heartfelt song inspired by the 60th anniversary of the Bristol Bus Boycott. The boycott was against the Bristol Omnibus Company’s refusal to employ Black or Asian bus staff, leading to a significant victory in the UK civil rights movement and changing attitudes towards discrimination.  Now, the new generation has taken the mantle by teaming up to create this new song to celebrate the struggles and actions of their forebearers who took part in the original Bristol Bus Boycott in 1963.


 “We Rise”  is a song crafted by rising Bristol artists, Elarbe, Dreamz , Jayemm and Cstar with the help of seasoned music mentors Andre Currie, Javeon, Tanya Lacey, and Liam Callaway. The result is a social-political/historically charged track that explores the connection between the past and how it indirectly affects the present. The production has a warm and sombre vibe that helps set the tone for the reflective and uplifting lyrics that dig deep into the past struggles of the Windrush generation from the perspective of the younger generation who continue to fight the good fight.  As part of the track’s creation, the artists involved in the “We Rise” track visited Parliament alongside individuals who took part in the original boycott, attending a reception hosted by Bristol West MP and Shadow Culture Secretary Thangam Debbonaire. This visit highlighted the historical significance of the boycott, which paved the way for the Race Relations Act of 1965. 

The accompanying visual pays tribute to the St Pauls community and features footage from the Parliament visit.


The track was Commissioned by Bristol Beacon and Curiosity UnLtd, the project was delivered by Aspiration Creation Elevation CIC (ACE), based at Docklands Community Centre in St Pauls – the heart of the Bus Boycott movement.  


Watch Behind the Scenes below.


The track and visuals will be part of the ‘Race Cards: A Blueprint 4 Change’ exhibition at Bristol Beacon which will run from June 20 to July 5.


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