Medway African and Caribbean Association receives grant to launch a youth music programme

Published: Tuesday, 21st September 2021

MACA is pleased to announce the launch of a programme to enable young people in Kent and Medway to develop their musical talent, with the opportunity to create an album.

The programme, called Journey to Music, has been made possible with a £28,000 grant from Youth Music, Arts Council England and National Lottery Good causes.

The programme which launches later this month will include a six month programme that includes singing and song writing skills, as well as an introduction to music production. 

The Singing and song writing course will be led Shylo Malone, an award winning UK artist, who signed his first record deal with Trinity Music in the year 2000. Following his stint at Trinity, he joined a group called Citizen K, who fused contemporary musical influences with traditional gospel. Their subsequent European tour saw him supporting the Spice Girls. In 2006 Shylo entered the hit ITV singing competition, X Factor, under his middle name Robert Allen. He impressed the judges enough to make it to the finals. Along the way, he gained mentorship from iconic greats such as Lionel Richie, Rod Stewart, Bjorn from ABBA and Tony Bennett. This followed with the X Factor national arena tour of the UK and  an extensive tour of the Caribbean. 

The music production workshop will be led by Uchan Hatari a producer rapper, educator, with over 20 years’ experience in music production and teaching. He currently teaches at Mid Kent College.

Young people invited to a fantastic programme

Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “Medway is home to a wide range of talented creatives and I am pleased that young people are being invited to take part in this fantastic programme, which will help further develop their musical talent. MACA’s Journey to Music programme supports our aspiration to become a Child-Friendly City, putting children and young people at the heart of everything we do. It also supports Medway’s bid to become UK City of Culture in 2025. I would encourage young people with a passion for music to find out more about this great opportunity.”

Develop confidence and learn new skills

Chairperson of MACA, Carol Stewart says “We are really excited to be running this programme, we worked with some amazingly talented young people during the past year, and we have been working with young people on the design of these workshops. We are hoping that not only will the participants develop confidence and learn new skills for life, but it will also provide an opportunity for young people of different backgrounds to learn and work together, with the aim of breaking through racial barriers in our community. This would not have been possible without the funding we received, and  support from  local partners Medway Council Youth service and Mid Kent College.”

Show talent and work ethic through music

Ola MACA’s  youth project coordinator says “This is such an amazing opportunity for the young people in the Medway and Kent area to really show their gifts, talents and work ethic through music which would otherwise not be possible if not for MACA,  the funding and Medway council and other partners.”

Enable young people to make, learn and earn in music

Matt Griffiths, Youth Music CEO says: “It’s crucial we enable more young people to make, learn and earn in music, whatever their background or goal. That’s why we’re excited to invest in progressive organisations like MACA, who lead the way with their innovative approach and dedication to diversifying music.”

The outputs from the programme will be used to create an album of the young people’s own material, which is hoped will raise much needed funds for the young people’s continued work.

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