The International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Trinidadian-American activist and musician TRISHES are releasing a collaborative single this World Refugee Day. This innovative project aims to amplify the voices and experiences of three different musician refugees from around the world, uniting them under global pop and hip hop fusion.

Titled We Won't Lose Count, the original song highlights the individual stories behind the staggering global displacement numbers - over 100 million people. The song features the journey of everyday people - mothers carrying their children, fathers seeking employment opportunities, and young people caught in conflict zones - all yearning for a safe future. Through this collaboration, the IRC and TRISHES seek to bring attention to the too-often dehumanizing refugee experience and to foster empathy and understanding.

We Won’t Lose Count brought together a diverse group of musicians who have fled their homes due to war, economic hardship, and the impacts of the climate crisis. The collaborators include Solomiia, a 16-year-old violinist from Ukraine now residing in Poland; Farhad, a former wedding musician who plays the tabla from Afghanistan, currently based in San Diego, California; and David, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo and now living in Charlottesville, Virginia. Supported by IRC programs around the world, these talented musicians are using their voices to contribute to the power of welcome in their new communities. 


“I’m humbled to work on We Won’t Lose Count with Solomiia, David and Farhad, a song that I hope serves as a reminder that behind every statistic is a human story  Getting to create a song with refugee musicians from all over the globe, people who have had to fight circumstance after circumstance just to be able to keep playing music, has been one of the most fulfilling creative experiences of my life. It’s a reminder that we live in a world where something as simple and beautiful as playing music is a privilege, and it’s a reminder of all of the art and ideas we miss out on when we don’t assure everyone has access to basic resources, stability and housing.

“The fact that people from opposite ends of the globe, who may not even speak the same language, can sit down and play music together, shows how powerful music can be as a force for change. On We Won’t Lose Count, you’re hearing this - the journeys of my fellow musicians through hardship, showing up with generosity and joy to celebrate the resilience and courage of people forced to flee their homes. By telling their stories, we hope to bring an understanding and empathy for the refugee experience.”

“This World Refugee Day and everyday, just educating people around you about refugees is incredibly valuable. There are so many negative misconceptions about refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants, but in reality, they make us safer and our societies better. They bring us art and ideas, expertise and experience, and among them may be the next great musician or your next best friend. Along with spreading awareness about the plight of displaced people, it’s also crucial that policymakers and those in power support measures that protect displaced people seeking safety.” 

We Won't Lose Count is a testament to the resilience and strength of displaced individuals and underscores the importance of compassion and solidarity. Through this collaboration, the IRC and TRISHES aim to inspire audiences worldwide to embrace diversity and advocate for the rights of people who are displaced.

You can listen to the full song HERE.

Artist Bios 

TRISHES Multidisciplinary artist TRISHES challenges the confines of art and constructs of self by using live looping, visual art and spoken word to delve into our psyches. Her undeniably original songwriting, fleshed out by hip-hop beats and pop hooks, examines human struggle through an anthropological lens to prompt listeners on a journey of self-inquiry.

As a musician, the Trinidadian-American has been featured on NPR, Billboard, Rolling Stone, MTV and VH1; and she has performed internationally, playing festivals like Joshua Tree Music Festival, SXSW, CMW, Women’s Redrock Festival, Linda Perry’s Rock N Relief, Cannabis Cup, Pyramid Yoga Festival and more. Her visual art has been part of Adidas “Nite Jogger” campaign and featured in galleries throughout the U.S. including at Clockwork Cros in New York and Art Share L.A. in Los Angeles. Hosein has also been nominated for Best Music Video at the South Asian Film Festival three years in a row, including one nomination for her directorial debut on her music video “Gaslight.”

TRISHES isn’t only known as a creative - her passion for the intersection of arts and activism has garnered her invitations to speak all around the world including at TEDxDelthorneWomen in Los Angeles, The Independent’s 50th Anniversary in New York, and at XP Music Futures in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Her debut album The Id came out in October 2021. TRISHES is currently working on her Sophomore album Superego, and recently signed to Gardner Literary who will be representing her first book, Pretty for a Brown Girl.

Solomiia from Ukraine, based in Katowice, Poland - Solomiia is a 16-year-old Ukrainian girl with an incredible gift for music. She’s been playing music for her whole life and studies saxophone, piano and—her favorite—violin. When violence spread to her city during her first year of high school, she was forced to flee to Poland with her family, leaving her music school behind. But when she arrived in Poland, she was welcomed by a supportive community who helped her get into a new music school in Poland. Now, she’s continuing to pursue her passion for music and performs in concerts and contests. Solomiia's grandmother was supported by the IRC cash assistance program to help as the family rebuilds their lives in their new community.

David Divin from DRC, based in Charlottesville, VA - David is originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He began his musical journey singing in his church choir back in the DRC. His debut album is called “Utakaso” (Sanctification) and is available on all digital platforms. David says he wants his music to spread peace and believes in making the word of God accessible through his musical gift and singing.

Farhad Yaqoobi  from Afghanistan, based in San Diego, CA -   Farhad is a former wedding musician who had to flee Afghanistan in mid 2010s after the Taliban smashed their instruments and forbade them to play music. He and his brother were resettled in San Diego. IRC helped them with car loans and job placement.