- 12 Oct 22
"We have been the economic migrants of the world for hundreds of years, we’ve spread out and sought food and work on the four corners. So we should be a bit more open-minded when it comes to us returning the favour."
“I penned this song in response to a friend of mine receiving hate mail because she was advocating on behalf of some folks in a direct provision centre," Wall explained of the powerful upcoming track. "I think we as Irish people can have a very short memory when it comes to how we view the immigrant man or woman. We have been the economic migrants of the world for hundreds of years, we’ve spread out and sought food and work on the four corners. So we should be a bit more open-minded when it comes to us returning the favour."
Wall is a multi-genre artist, weaving together spoken word and folk melodies. The impact of his influences Bob Marley, Sinead O'Connor, Christy Moore and Tupac can be heard throughout his debut album, 2018's Where I'm From.
He shared the stage with legendary Irish musician Damien Dempsey on national tours in 2016 and 2017. Dempsey instantly became a fan of Wall's music, and featured on his 2018 single 'What's Wrong with the World Ma?'
The singer-songwriter has always been outspoken and used his platform to fight racism and discrimination. He comes from a Traveller background and is honest about the racism he has faced in his life: "I don't know what you call the 'racism experience', but I know the way it makes me feel. I know that when I'm in those social situations and someone mentions the k-word, there's a little defence mechanism that kicks off inside of me." It was these feelings that inspired not only this single, but Steo's entire next album.
"It got me thinking. Irish people have been economic migrants for hundreds of years. Even going back to the Famine, we fled. But if you fast-forward to the 1970s and ‘80s in London, you had ‘No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish' – I remind people about that in this song. It’s kind of inverted. When I release ‘More Blacks, More Dogs, More Irish’, that’s going to say everything I need to say on this issue."
Read Steo Wall's full statement as part of 100 Voices: #AllAgainstRacism here.