Jessica Rohan: What was your level of awareness about Syria prior to meeting the cab driver from Damascus?
Christian Nembhard: Prior to my conversation with the cab driver, I was aware of some of the humanitarian issues surrounding Syria and the civil war that was happening, but if I’m completely honest, sometimes I can be too caught up in my own day-to-day life to give a thought to wider world issues so I didn’t really have as much of an insight into the causes of the problems as I perhaps should have.
JR: Was there a particular part of the man's story that resonated with you the most?
CN: The story as a whole was harrowing and chilling and it definitely inspired what I would call my best work to date. I think the part of the story that stands out for me is that he did not know the whereabouts of his wife and child. I think if he knew they were dead he would allow himself to grieve, but the fact he doesn’t know, it just adds to a torturous story that so many people from the Middle East and regions in conflict across the world are facing as we speak.
JR: Some of the lyrics seem to critique the music industry in the context of your encounter with a refugee.
CN: If I’m completely honest that was more of a critique about myself rather than the music industry in general but with that said, as a musician, I feel I have a responsibility to talk about wider world/real issues in order to educate people through music. I think the music industry, like other industries with powerful platforms, should do more to educate people about other people’s trials and tribulations.
Christian Nembhard (Reload) is a UK-based rap artist and poet who places a heavy emphasis on lyricism and content within his art form. Having spent the best part of a decade perfecting his craft, Reload is currently seen as one of the brightest prospects in the country and has been championed by many key taste-makers in the music industry.
Jessica Rohan is an editor for Warscapes. Twitter: @Jessica_Rohan