Syrian refugee who fled war-torn country with only his violin releases debut album

Before Rami Basisah fled Syria, he wrapped his beloved violin in clingfilm and strapped it to his back. He then travelled almost 2,500 miles by foot and boat across eight countries with the instrument.

Now, two years on, the 24-year-old is releasing a debut album.

Called My Journey, it follows Basisah's travels through Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary and Austria, where the musician would entertain security guards and fellow refugees with his music.

He became separated from his violin after being thrown off a train in Hungary and chased through a Budapest forest by police.

Basisah eventually found refuge in Germany, where he was taken in by a German couple and given a replacement instrument by a local.

My Journey, recorded with award-winning producers James Morgan and Juliette Pochin, features traditional Arabian music alongside a classical version of the American band OneRepublic's Counting Stars and a rendition of Silent Night.

An Arabic-influenced version of Beethoven's Ode To Joy is being released digitally in support of British Red Cross's Red Cross Week, raising awareness of people in crisis across the world.

It is available on Decca Records from May 5.