Heems explains his decision to perform in Paris

After the series of devastating terror attacks that shook Paris last week, including a massacre at an Eagles of Death Metal concert that left 89 people dead, questions have been raised over both the safety and integrity of letting concerts go ahead in the French capital over the past week.

Foo Fighters and U2 understandably cancelled dates in France and around Europe in light of the extreme security concerns posed by the attacks. Coldplay also cancelled a show in the US that was to be streamed online on Friday out of respect, and other artists have postponed tours.

However, New York MC Himanshu Suri, otherwise known as Heems, took to the stage in Paris last night as part of his European tour at the Silencio.

In order to explain his decision, Heems has penned a powerful editorial for Vice, in which he outlined his own experiences of terrorism- spurned racial profiling after 9/11, and why music is such a powerful tool in times of suffering.

In an excerpt from the article the rapper recalls, “In 2001, I attended high school near the Twin Towers. After 9/11, our high school was used as a triage centre for a month.”

He then notes, “I’m also a brown man.. I wear long fabrics… a beard… immediately, I felt like a victim of the events and of its racial repercussions.”

He concludes his essay by stating, “I believe in hopefulness and the light of peace. If I could do anything with my art, it would be to say ‘We’re just like you’”.  You can read the entire article here.

The decision by Himanshu was applauded by fans, many of whom took to Twitter to express their support.

The rapper will play tonight in London before making his way through the Netherlands to wrap up his European tour.

Australia will get a chance to thank the rapper for this words personally when he tours here in February.

Heems Australian Dates 2016

Thursday, Feb 18th: Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Saturday, Feb 20th: The Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne

Tickets here