SPEAKING OUT: Award-winning Afrobeats artist Fuse ODG
Afrobeats artist Fuse ODG has confirmed he declined Sir Bob Geldof's invitation to feature on this year's Band Aid charity anthem aimed to raise funds to fight Ebola because the song "was not in line" with his personal beliefs.
The chart-topping musician, of Ghanaian descent, has used his time in the spotlight to champion This Is New Africa (TINA), a movement he hoped would showcase the Africa he knows and loves – a vibrant and self-sufficient continent.
However, the lyrics in the re-recorded version of Geldof and Midge Ure's 1984 hitDo They Know It's Christmas, which have been branded 'ignorant' and caused widespread outrage among people from the African Diaspora because of its "offensive" lyrics about the Ebola crisis, forced the Antenna star to pull out.
"Big up Sir Bob Gekdof & his heart. He approached me about about being on the Band Aid song, however upon receiving the proposed lyrics, I felt the message of the Band Aid 30 song was not in line with the message of The New Africa movement (TINA)," he wrote on Twitter.
He added: "After some consideration, I spoke with Geldof and informed him I would be unable to attend the studio session. Sir Bob Geldof respectfully acknowledged my decision. #ThisIsNewAfrica #TINA."
The original words in the 1984 version, aimed at raising the profile of the Ethiopian famine, read: "Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears", but were replaced with "where a kiss of love can kill you and there's death in every tear."
Another line reads: "No peace and joy this Christmas in West Africa. The only hope they'll have is being alive".
UK-based Nigerian rap artist @MrBreis wrote on Twitter: "The lyrics to this #BandAid30 song are ridiculous, misplaced, ignorant, backwards, nauseous, spiritually malevolent and condescending."
Geldof, who appeared on last night's (Nov 16) X Factor show to promote the single, which is released today, said he had been inspired to re-record the track because of the "phenomenal bravery of the NHS doctors and nurses who volunteered" to help the fight against the virus.
Famous names including boyband One Direction, Bono and singers Emeli Sande, Rita Ora and Seal joined together to record vocals for the Band Aid track in a west London studio on Saturday afternoon (Nov 15) in a hope that it would raise resources to fight the deadly virus in parts of West Africa.
Tottenham-born singer Adele allegedly turned down Geldof's invitation to feature on the track. He was reported that the former Boomtown Rats lead singer called her over one hundred times in a desperate bid to get her on the single.
Chancellor George Osborne also announced he has waived VAT on the single.
He wrote on Twitter: "Just spoke to the remarkable Bob Geldof. Told him we'll waive VAT on #BandAid30 so every penny goes to fight Ebola."