Entertainment

Bastille and Paloma Faith feature on brain tumour charity single

Seven-year-old Ravi Adelekan, son of Metronomy’s bass player Gbenga Adelekan, had a tumour removed last year.
Seven-year-old Ravi Adelekan, son of Metronomy’s bass player Gbenga Adelekan, had a tumour removed last year. Seven-year-old Ravi Adelekan, son of Metronomy’s bass player Gbenga Adelekan, had a tumour removed last year.

Bastille’s Dan Smith and singer Paloma Faith are featured along with other celebrities on a charity single to raise money to help those with brain tumours.

The celebrities were gathered to re-record A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman by Metronomy’s bass player Gbenga Adelekan and his seven-year-old son Ravi, who was diagnosed with a benign tumour in his brain stem in September 2021.

The song and its video also features Gorillaz’s Damon Albarn, baker Mary Berry, Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus, Hip hop trio De La Soul, and tennis player Heather Watson, along with Ravi and his family.

One week after his operation Ravi
One week after his operation Ravi Ravi Adelekan, pictured one week after his brain tumour operation (Ravi’s family/The Brain Tumour Charity/PA)

Ravi had 10 hours of surgery last November to remove the tumour but surgeons were not able to get rid of it fully, and he lives with its effects every day.

The youngster, from Brighton, has been on a journey since the surgery to learn how to walk and feed himself again, and return to his passions of music, maths, tennis and football.

To say thank-you to the Brain Tumour Charity and Brainstrust, who provided aftercare and support, Ravi and his father enlisted the help of the director of The Greatest Showman, Michael Gracey, and cast member Hugh Jackman to get people involved.

Ravi said: “I love songs and music and I think this song is a special song because it’s about your dreams coming true, just like I dream that having a brain tumour doesn’t mean you can do anything less than other people.”

Raise the Roof
Raise the Roof Paloma Faith features on the single (Suzan Moore/PA)

Bastille drummer Chris Wood, known as Woody, who performs drums on the track, said: “Having known Ravi since he was a babe-in-arms, I, like everyone else who knows his family, felt absolutely rocked by his initial diagnosis.

“We all felt so powerless to help such a brave little boy, so being able to help contribute in even the smallest way towards hopefully preventing this happening to others is a massive privilege.”

Ravi and his sister Maya practising guitar
Ravi and his sister Maya practising guitar Ravi and his sister Maya playing guitar (Ravi’s family/The Brain Tumour Charity/PA)

Gorillaz bassist Seye Adelekan, rock band The Big Moon, Life On Mars actor John Simm, Belgian footballer Leandro Trossard and Ravi’s surgeon Bassel Zebian supported or feature in the music video.

Gina Almond, the Brain Tumour Charity’s director of fundraising, said: “We are unashamedly ambitious in our goals to double the survival and halve the harm that brain tumours have on quality of life, and Ravi’s dream will be invaluable in helping us to achieve these by reaching such a wide audience.”

Steph Coffey, senior fundraising officer at Brainstrust, said: “The money raised by Ravi’s charity record will make sure we are there for the people who need us.

“Every penny will allow us to be there for people feeling afraid and alone after a brain tumour diagnosis. We are incredibly grateful to Ravi and his family for their support, and to everyone who listens to this song for helping raise vital funds and awareness.”

A Million Dreams is available on YouTube on Thursday, the anniversary date of Ravi’s brain surgery, and at ravisdream.com.