Musical collaboration of Southeast Asian artists conveys optimism amidst the pandemic

Restart letters


When we are one 
We all become
Stronger than we were before
And you will see
That you and me
Can make the world better
Restart our lives together
Sing our hearts’ desire
To be free

That’s the chorus part of Restart, the song put together by music artists from Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, and Myanmar. With an upbeat melody, Restart communicates positivity and confidence in a fresh beginning.

The music video premiered on 15 April 2021. Filmed in five countries, and stitched together with trendy animation effects, the launch was simultaneous to the roll out of Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom’s (FNF) international campaign #Restart21. Covid-19 resulted in both democratic and economic decline. FNF believes that liberal principles such as a market-based operating system could jumpstart business, and respect for civil rights will ensure personal and societal development.

The lyrics of the song Restart is a narration of the current state of not just Southeast Asia, but the world. “It’s time to realize that love has been forgotten in this world,” sings Aether, the young artists from Myanmar, who also topped the Living Freedom Songwriting Contest. It’s an acknowledgment of the dire situation brought about by the pandemic, but also an expression of hope. “I have a dream of joy, and love, and health, but without the greed,” followed Malaysia’s Vanessa S.Y.T’s verse, which she contributed during the songwriting process.

For the group of artists, RESTART could also be an acronym that means embracing individual Responsibilities, being Empowered to find creative Solutions that could Transform communities, and Advocacy and Respect for Truth especially in this time of infodemic. The song imbibes not only hopefulness, but also proactiveness to initiate new ideas and inspire action.

Watch the video here:

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