6 WEEK PROJECT WITH YOUNG PEOPLE - WRITING & RECORDING A SONG and MAKING A MUSIC VIDEO

We love delivering creative projects with young people. There are a whole range of benefits that come as a result of delivering projects over a number of weeks. The time that we get to work with young people in projects like this allows us to spend more time on each stage of the creative process. 

For example, with this project we have 3 main stages: 

1. Deciding on a Theme

2. Creating the work (both the recorded song and music video)

3. Evaluation / Discussing next steps

Session 1

In session 1, after introducing the project and it's facilitators we spent the entire session trying to find a theme and deciding on a musical style for the song. For the theme, we got the ball rolling by suggesting 'Community' as a starting point. Each young person was asked what community meant to them and we wrote everything up on a large board where everyone could see. This time is important for a few different reasons including unifying the group, finding something that everyone can relate to and finding a focus for the song. Regarding the musical style, there were suggestions of both 'Afro Beat' and 'Kurdish Beats' (or Kurdo beats). We were quite familiar with Afro Beat and not so familiar with Kurdo Beats but it made for an interesting possible fusion of the 2 styles.

Session 2

Prior to session 2 beginning, we created a basic Afro Beat style rhythm and laid down some Kurdish inspired guitar riffs in the studio. In the session, we presented the music to the young people and spent most of the session discussing how it sounds and what we can add to make it sound better and more to their liking. Some of the young people's ideas were recorded by them playing MIDI percussion sounds on the keyboard. For those that don't know what MIDI is: it allows you to play a note on a keyboard and the sound you actually hear can be anything from a kick drum or cymbal to a violin or an explosion sound. Literally anything. After everyone's heads were nodding to the beat we spent the last part of the session trying to come up with a vocal line that we could record and one of the girls in the group recorded the first vocal.

Session 3

The goal for session 3 was to get stuck into the lyrics and whether the young people had previously said they were interested in writing lyrics or not - They all sat down and put pen to paper.  Our team of facilitators sat with the young people to help them with the structure of their lyrics and how to keep them in time with the music. We try our very best to ensure that the content of their lyrics comes from their ideas and our role is to help guide them to make their lyrics work in the best way possible. We got 3 of the young people's lyrics recorded this session which is massive progress. 

Session 4

In session 4 lyrics we're finalised and while one young person was in the studio recording their vocals, the others were in the rehearsal room practicing and preparing for their turn behind the microphone. We could see that by this point, the confidence levels had increased a lot and they were all fired up and ready to deliver their best. This is what we LOVE to see!

Session 5

In session 5 the young people put on their best attire and got to filming! We worked out a storyline and had fun deciding on locations and how to perform their lyrics to camera. There were moments of having to retake a scene as this was a new experience for all of them and sometimes they forgot they were on camera, lol. We got there though, they all got in the zone and all their lyrics were captured! This was one of the highlights for the young people as they got to really step into the role of the artist within themselves.

Session 6

With all the main vocals recorded and all footage of the young people saying their lyrics to camera we had this final creative session to have some fun recording extra clips of the young people celebrating, dancing and having fun together. 

Post Creative Sessions

A week after session 6 the track was presented to a crowd of festival goers in Wembley over the Queen's Platinum Jubilee weekend. 

Our team spent time in the music studio and the video editing suite applying the final touches to the music and the video. 

  

A project by School of Beatbox

Funded by Wembley Central Big Local

Project carried out at Ark Elvin Academy, Wembley, London

Project Lead / Facilitator - Danny Ladwa

Video / Facilitator - HBoss (AFND)

Studio Engineer / Facilitator - Pippo De Palma

Music by Danny Ladwa, Pippo De Palma, Harold (Hboss) Link and the Young People


Watch The Video

Are you interested to run a similar project?

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