About the song
On August 17, 2012, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” for a performance in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and sentenced to two years imprisonment. She has been recognized as a political prisoner by the Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners. Amnesty International named her a prisoner of conscience due to “the severity of the response of the Russian authorities." (Information quoted from Tolokonnikova's Wikipedia
On August 17, 2012, Maria Alyokhina was convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” for a performance in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and sentenced to two years imprisonment. She has been recognized as a political prisoner by the Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners. Amnesty International named her a prisoner of conscience due to “the severity of the response of the Russian authorities." (Information quoted from Alyokhnia's Wikipedia
In (or approximately) October 2012, Vo Minh Tri (a.k.a. Viet Khang) and Tran Vu Anh Binh were sentenced to four and six years jail by a court in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on charges of spreading propaganda against the state. They were sentenced in a half-day trial that came after 10 months in detention. They allegedly posted their dissident songs on a Vietnamese opposition website run by a group of expatriate activists known as Patriotic Youth. Viet Khang was blamed for composing a song criticizing Vietnam's alleged submissive policy towards China on territorial claims in the South China Sea. One of Tran's melodies encouraged non-violent protest against Vietnam's single party rule. Viet Khang and Tran Vu Anh Binh may spend four to six years in prison. (Information quoted primarily from The New York Times
In September 2012, Vladimir Putin announced publicly that he was aware of the situation regarding Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, but "I'm not getting involved in any way." (Youtube link here
To the best of my research, I have not identified Truong Tan Sang, president of Vietnam, acknowledging the plights of Viet Khang and Tran Vu Anh Binh.
In 2011, I spent countless hours over many months recording, composing, and mastering the songs for my debut album, Zero Zero Three. In 2012, I spent an equivalent amount of time recording one long track that would eventually be my sophomore release, Contemplating Silent Wishes. After learning and researching the plights of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, Viet Khang and Tran Vu Anh Binh, I spent many weeks composing the song "Something Off" which I subsequently uploaded to SoundCloud and linked from my personal website for public distribution.
For the efforts described in the previous paragraph, I never once feared that I would be the target of political or legal retaliation. I will not go to jail for recording and distributing these songs. No matter what acclaim, criticism, or apathy might be directed towards this art, I have no fear of harm to my well being because of its existence.
I will not go to jail for publishing the song "Something Off." This should be a basic human right; not because, in my case, of the fortune I had of being born in one country as opposed to another.
This is not a complicated problem. Vladimir Putin could have Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina released today. Truong Tan Sang could have Viet Khang and Tran Vu Anh Binh released today.
Please, be so loud that you cannot be ignored.
There is no hole deep enough to stifle the sound of protest
There is no man ridiculous enough to quiet the world
Maria Alyokhina must be freed
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova must be freed
Viet Khang must be freed
Tran Vu Anh Binh must be freed
Vladimir Putin there is something off in your world
Truong Tan Sang there is something off in your world
I hope so.