Sounds Against Slavery Interview – Bethany Roberts

The third of the four upcoming performances at this year's Sounds Against Slavery, Hannah chats with Bethany Roberts.

Modern day slavery is a current and deeply important issue that needs to not only be addressed, but put an end to for good. The Rights Lab here at the University of Nottingham are the first large-scale modern day slavery research team aiming to do just that.

The Anti-Slavery Society and the Rights Lab have organised the charity concert Sounds Against Slavery to raise funds for Survivor Alliance. The charity aims to empower those who have been affected by human trafficking and slavery around the world. We had a chat with one of the performers, Bethany Roberts, ahead of the concert.

Hello! How are you today?

I’m very well thank you!

What do you study and what year are you in?

I study Theology and Religious Studies, and I’m in my second year.

“I like to tell a story, talk about relationships, and [the songs are] all from my own experiences or other people’s stories.”

How would you describe the music that you create?

It’s changing a bit at the moment, but mostly folky, singer-songwriter acoustic stuff. I like to tell a story, talk about relationships, and [the songs are] all from my own experiences or other people’s stories. A lot of my songwriting also incorporates my faith and relationship with Jesus.

Who are your biggest musical influences?

My favourite songwriter of all time is Bono, and although I have a different sound to what he creates I’m definitely influenced by him lyrically. I also adore everything by Amy Winehouse and Florence Welch.

If you could only pick one album to listen to for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Probably U2’s Achtung Baby. It would definitely be a U2 album because they’re the best band in the world, and Achtung Baby has ‘Until the End of the World’ and ‘Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses’ on it which are two of my favourite songs ever.

Who’s your favourite musician at the moment?

I am really loving Billie Eilish. She’s killing it.

“[I]t was an obvious yes from me to perform and help raise money and awareness”

Why did you decide to perform for Sounds Against Slavery?

It’s crazy to me that slavery is still happening so it was an obvious yes from me to perform and help raise money and awareness for something so important.

Do you think musical events like these are important to gain awareness for issues like modern day slavery? 

Yes, definitely. It’s a great way to start and continue the conversation which will then hopefully lead to action and change.

“[W]e all have a responsibility to fight injustice.”

What would you like audience members to take away from Sounds Against Slavery? 

That there is a lot still to be done and that we all have a responsibility to fight injustice. It’s easy to feel helpless in comparison to something that’s as big and worldwide as human trafficking but we can still make a difference.

Hannah Pickard

This year’s Sounds Against Slavery event is being held at Rough Trade Nottingham on 1st April, 6.30pm. Tickets can be found here. All proceeds go towards Survivor Alliance.

Featured image courtesy of Amelia Watkins.

Image use license here.

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