In recent years, the impact of climate change has become a hot topic across the world, with socio-political movements, namely ‘Extinction Rebellion’, attempting to spread a message of change, via civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance. In contrast, political leaders such as Donald Trump have distanced themselves from the situation, withdrawing from the vital Paris Agreement, and continually denying the concept of global warming.
The actions of Extinction Rebellion have inspired many – I spoke to Group 1, a UK-based bedroom pop artist, about politics, climate change, and his latest release ‘2119’.
On the reasons why he wanted to get involved with the movement, he stated, “I’ve always been very keen on the environment and the conservation of it since a very young age. I’ve been a big fan of Morrissey since I was a young child and I can thank him for my stance on animal rights – though his opinions on people now are something I wholly disagree with.”
He added “when the protests began in April, specifically the ones in London, I made sure that I went to them as much as possible. I remember travelling up to London multiple days in a row to see how they were doing, and the atmosphere was truly incredible. Everyone there was lovely, and they all cared about one thing: saving our planet. These protests inspired me to write multiple songs, many that are yet to be released. My girlfriend’s mum is now heavily involved in Extinction Rebellion, and has managed to book me a little slot to perform a few songs at their SW London Uprising Festival in the coming weeks.”
With bands such as The 1975 collaborating with activist Greta Thunberg, spreading awareness of climate change has started to become more mainstream then ever before. Group 1 discussed this, saying, “I think it’s very important for anyone with a platform no matter how big or small, to stand up and put forward their views on any matter, particularly one that affects our future as a race. I’m very glad that bands like The 1975 are now really getting involved with these issues. They have a massive fan base which consists heavily of the younger generation, and I think it’s very important that the youth of today who are still uniformed about the rising issues of our climate, begin to get involved and make change, since it’s their future that depends on it!
‘2119’ is written from a post-apocalyptic point of view, looking into a future where humans have destroyed Earth: “The idea behind the song spawned from me one day having the realisation that our planet is closer to total destruction than I think a lot of us realise or want to believe.”
“I believe that the change needs to come from the rich and the powerful who control the aspects of our world that are destroying our planet and killing us. That’s not to say that every little thing doesn’t make a difference, because I truly believe that and I strongly urge everyone to reduce their effect on the environment.” He added.
‘2119’ takes a fiery approach at first, before dropping down into a gentler, almost optimistic sounding outro. Reflecting on how many more people are making small, but positive changes to reduce their environmental impact, Group 1 said “I think it’s great that people are beginning to make changes to the way they live. I know many people who are reducing the amount of meat they consume, which is a great cause for the rise in greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.”
He continued, “there are alternate ways to produce almost any product which would benefit our planet, but it all comes down to whether these companies and people favour compassion or profit, and I think we all know what the answer to that is. Stopping buying products which you know are destroying the environment is a good small step to letting these companies know what the people want.”
“Sadly I still feel like there is a massive percentage of people in my generation who do not care enough to make change.”
Listen to ‘2119’ here: