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Creative ID: 036

Art form(s): Music.

Based in: Auckland. 

When I'm available: Since I am a full-time recording artist my hours are flexible and I am generally available throughout the week, so long as scheduling is offered enough in advance. The only times I would be unavailable are if I was to go on tour - however as of this moment I have no tours planned for 2020.

Where I'm available:  Central Auckland schools are preferred (Mt Roskill, Onehunga, Hillsborough, Remuera, Epsom, Penrose areas). I live in Greenlane. However I have an interest in the South Auckland community having grown up in Manurewa and am happy to work schools like Manurewa High School, James Cook High School, Papatoetoe High School and Alfriston High School.

My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)

I am a full Hiphop recording and performing artist (rapper, singer and producer). My music is positive, uplifting and contains no expletives. I am proficient in songwriting, composition, arrangement, recording, music production and mixing, and I'm also a multi-instrumentalist (drums, bass guitar, guitar, keyboard). If selected, my best contribution would be mentorship around the whole song creation process right from conceptualisation through to complete production, in any mainstream genre of music (Hiphop, Pop, Rock, Acoustic, Singer/songwriter). As an African migrant whose music is informed by my background, I'm also passionate about issues of identity among ethnic students and how they can use their music for personal growth. I have toured both nationally and internationally (in the UK and Australia) and my songs have featured on mainstream radio.

My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with

  • Toured the UK in April 2018 with shows in London, Bristol, Cardiff, Sheffield and Leeds with acclaimed British artists like Mungos HiFi, Eva Lazarus and Afro Cluster
  • Performed at major national festivals such as Splore (Auckland), African Music and Cultural Festival (Melbourne), Auckland International Cultural Festival (Auckland), Festival Of Lights (New Plymouth), Newtown Festival (Wellington)
  • Music featured on mainstream radio stations Mai FM & Flava FM 
  • 3 x NZ On Air Music Single grant recipient 
  • Performed as drummer for NZ artist at 2018 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards at Vector Arena 
  • Music featured in internationally acclaimed music blogs OkayAfrica, Sniffers, Earmilk & Global Money Media

Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes

This year I have acted as creative mentor in a hiphop recording workshop run by YMCA (under the "Raise Up" initiative), and as a judge in their artist/band national competition "New Found Sound". I have run a music production workshop at Ormiston Senior College and have also run a songwriting workshop with the youth at St Margaret's Church in Hillsborough. These students have generally been between the ages of 15-18.

Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice

My strength and passions outside of my main craft is in mentorship, interpersonal communication and youth development (particularly in the context of cultural identity). As well as enjoying the process of seeing younger people grow in confidence with their technical musical skills, I believe that mentorship and teaching roles such as this are great opportunities to impart the valuable lessons that I have learned over the years about my own identity. The journey toward a more authentic kind of creativity involves embracing one's unique background, which for immigrant youth in particular can be a difficult process in the midst of pressure to conform. I believe that to see someone like myself who has done that internal work and is confident in themselves and skilled at their craft is highly valuable for people who are arguably in their most formative years.

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