With this poignant new release, the actor and activist launches ‘Don’t Stop Your Future’ campaign, which demands UK Government take immediate action to prevent serious youth violence.

British actor, musician and advocate for change Idris Elba continues his campaign against serious youth violence on his powerful new single ‘Knives Down’, out on 8th January.  

The track, which features UK rapper DB Maz and is produced by the acclaimed Fraser T Smith and FaNaTiX, represents the frustration and anger towards the government for their inaction on knife crime. It features hard hitting lyrics which urge Parliament to take urgent action, having neglected addressing the issue for too long. 

‘Knives Down’ gives a voice to those most impacted by knife crime and to use the power of music to raise awareness of the issue. In the accompanying music video, directed by MD Films, Idris is seen holding a debate in the House of Commons, alongside the families of victims, as their stories and those of the worst affected communities across the UK are poignantly highlighted. 

The track artwork features a young picture of Ronan Kanda, who was killed in 2022, yards from his home in a case of mistaken identity, as a reminder that the issues highlighted through the track result in real victims.  

The release also marks the launch of Elba’s Don’t Stop Your Future campaign, which aims to bring the issue of serious youth violence to its rightful place at the top of the political agenda. The campaign will launch on the morning of 8th January at Parliament Square. Marking the return to parliament, the Square will be filled with neatly folded last outfits from each victim of 2023, highlighting to the government – the lives lost, in a very visually hard-hitting way.

“I can’t stay silent as more young lives are lost to these brutal and heartless crimes”, Idris said. “As school returns, too many young people will not be joining their classmates and too many grieving families have lost a young person they love in recent years. Young people are our future, their potential deserves to be met, not taken away by violence.

‘Don’t Stop Your Future’ works with community grassroots organisations to put an end to knife crime and amplifies the voices of marginalised communities and those most affected. The initiative will offer clear and achievable solutions to the government, with Idris specificall calling for Parliament to:

  • Urgently prioritise the long-awaited ban on zombie knives and machetes, and to crack down on the supply chains which bring them to UK streets.
  • Invest in youth services to tackle the underlying causes of serious youth violence and support young people to achieve the bright future they deserve.
  • Convene a Coalition to End Knife Crime, a cross-party, cross-governmental working group that brings together stakeholders who have a role to play in tackling this issue including relevant Government departments, grassroots organisations, sporting bodies and young people.

‘Knives Down’ sends a clear message that, while Parliament has dragged its heels, young people have lost their lives. It’s time for action – and politicians have a crucial part to play in helping young people to reach their full potential.

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