Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Rap, by Danny

Danny isn't an author, and the rap isn't a book - he is a young man I met today at the National Crimebeat Awards in London. He is a member of the Respond Academy team from St Leonard's on Sea, East Sussex, who won third place - and we are hugely proud of them all. Chris had put this brilliant initiative forward for the awards - and we are delighted they were not only finalists but prizewinners!

Danny was going to perform a rap as part of the group's presentation - but for one reason or another, he was not able to.  He was kind enough to give me a copy of the words, which tell how important  music has been in helping him turn his life around when 'home' is not the place of safety we like to think it is. 


The minute people realised I was a big kid who could throw a mean slug
people would stop turning round and labelling me as a thug.
After that day I would go home and never receive a kiss or hug
and never receive a single ounce of love
‘til I turned round and said that’s it. 
Enough is enough.
Because I turned round and walked away,
that’s the reason I can talk the way I talk today.
See, I was taught to be a criminal and commit crimes every day,
until one day I woke up and realised crime isn’t the way.

Back then I was a confused little kid, so I focused on my music.
Music is like therapy helping me and that’s why I use it,
so now I been given this opportunity I’m not going to abuse it.
Music is my life, and that’s why I choose it. 

Brilliant. Thanks to Danny and the whole team. 

All the winners were taken off for a fab trip to the London Eye - a lovely day for it! 

Read on for more about Respond Academy, which helps young people who for one reason or another aren't fitting into the education system...

Pablo & Jc McFee  2006 devised a specialist education programme using the  Arts, Music & Media that  gave  young people a thirst for learning and helping them to find  new ways of working within the creative fields to create employment or work along side other Artists and professionals on incredible high profile or local  events or projects. Jc realized that the  Arts Award in 2007 was the way forward  to obtain qualifications for our Community members as well as some of the most excluded challenging Students from  EBD schools giving them 2 Gcse’s to enable them to go towards their further education.
Respond Academy has a proven track record from 2004 that has given numerous life changing  opportunities  to young people in our community to learn art, dance, photography,   writing lyrics, learn how to use apple iMacs  inc ;Numerous software for Film, Production,  Vocal Booth, Sound Desk, Live instruments Music Music, IT,ART mixed media ,Painting or Drawing
Here is a short-list of just some of the achievements some of the young people who attend either as part of the  alternative education project or the community project.
    • At university to study; law, Film,multi-media, drama, art, & business studies
    • Returning to mainstream school and maintaining behaviour to continue at college. .
    • 100+ young people starting at college and completing their courses.
    • 50+ young person going to college at 18 years of age – after no formal education since  they were 13/14  years old
    • 50+   employment in their chosen fields  various jobs including , Teaching assistants, Legal secretary, Admin / Welfare officers, Manager of print/graphic design company, WebDesigner, Global Dj  & Mc , Film maker, Web designer, Graphic designer,
    • 12 gained training and employment on film’s  working with a mainstream film producers and commercial film company
    • 59 students gaining GCSE level qualifications (Silver Arts Awards)
    • 2 students gaining AS level qualifications (Gold Arts Awards)
    • 12 Bronze Arts  Award
    • 11 BTECs in 1st Certificate Music Production.  1 student obtained a Double Distinction after having been excluded from EBD unit  School and dispite not  able to read or write but having a natural ability  for iMac  programmes and software .
    • 100+ Learning to understand their behaviour and consequences
    • 30+people attending various training courses
    • 15 Peer trainers gaining paid employment for workshops they had devised and delivered
    • 2 young people sought their own funding for music/art projects they had devised. Both these projects exceeded all expectations
    • A core group of 4 successfully co-event managed Parklive 2007 a youth music festival linked to The Annual Beer Festival in Hastings
    • A group of 10/12 facilitated various music/dance/mc-DJ events throughout 2007 through 2012 in East Sussex
    • A group of 4 devised & delivered short reels, an innovative film project in conjunction with Children’s Services, Youth Development Services, and local schools in 2009 .
    • 2 members  sought funding from Youth Bank  and started an incredible  successful youth monthly Disco event called VIBES in 2007-2009 VIBES   founder   Lauren  was so innovative that she Booked Tynchy Stryder the WEEK before he went into NO1 & then she booked  Tinie Tempah  & the next week  he was  A Star   and a few other  exciting Artists  .Everything was run  and managed by a an amazing team of young people aged from 14-21 years old.
    • we have a selection of  Respond Academy  LIVE Up & Coming Artists
    • Devonerri  &  Sully won   MAKING TRACKS  with a tune called {I like Hastings } Southern Railway in 2011
    •  we have a in house  z1 Film Crew
    • JUNE 2012  our Youth Ambassador went to Sierra Leone  to make new Links with other Youth Groups  Watch this Space.
    • Members are commissioned to  run multi/ mixed art /live music workshops with CAMHS  young people  in-house at The academy & then Eastbourne in 2012
    • Members are commissioned to run  Dance workshops at Specialist schools   in Bexhill on Sea
    • Members  are commissioned to event manage and host  community events.
    • Members are commissioned to make flyers  for Companies  and Artists.
    • Members are offered film extra roles .
    • Members have been commissioned to make  live soundtracks for Films 2012 .
    • Members have been asked to sit on numerous  forums to give their opinions  as young people .
    • Members have been asked to perform  live at numerous community events since 2007 -2012
    • Artists Rebecca Youssefi hosted numerous art exhibitions and events  on her own and members work whilst in house Curator for The Academy   and Coastal Currents in Hastings 2011
    • Numerous innovative In – house video shorts including dancing, singing

You can read more about the National Crimebeat Awards here: