Saturday, January 16News For London

Music and Politics

Music has been used to unsettle the most fundamental political and social conventions. Musicians often wanted to change the world, from grime artists such as Stormzy to country bands like Dixie Chicks, many have believed in the political power of music.

Dave Randall, musician and writer of Sound System: The Political Power of Music, uncovers the story of one musician’s discovery of what makes music so powerful.

The book gives an insider view of the music industry and its influence on the culture of social change. It emphasizes the history of the social evolution of songs with political messages which has impacted communities in different forms. The evolution of hidden political messages embedded within music is carried forward in this book.

Mark Radcliffe of BBC2 called the book “a deeply intelligent look at music and society.”


Dave Randall at the Write Idea Festival 2017
Photo credits- Zahida Rizvi



Dave Randall addressing questions about his book at the Write Idea Festival

Video credits- Zahida Rizvi


Randall said: “Music acts as a one of the most important elements impacting politics by raising issues of gritty realities in the mainstream media. For instance musicians who rebelled with music to release Nelson Mandela created a revolution during the early 1980s.”

Randall cited other examples of political dissent in music.

“Syrian firefighter and part-time poet Ibrahim al-Qashoush’s song relating to the early days and the uprising of syria, strongly opposed Assad’s regime and the political environment during that time although his public performance of the  song got him killed.”


The impact of political messages in music has given rise to equality of people, a movement against war and violence, and encouragement of environmental action. This book of riots and revolution poses a question: how can we make music serve political interests?


Dave Randall looking forward to integrate politics and music through his book,Sound System: The Political Power of Music
Photo Credits-Zahida Rizvi