Hip hop group revel in video
A group of Avondale students are making all the right noises and pulling all the right moves, having just released their first single and music video.
The Avondale Mix Project, also known as AMP, recorded the video of their track Neighbourhood Party at the Avondale Markets, with the help of Curious Films.
The group of 10 to 14-yearolds meet weekly and have hip hop writing workshops with industry musicians and artists.
D’jon Hoff says he joined the group in the school holidays last year.
“We go there, have fun, write rhymes,” says the 14year-old, whose favourite hip hop artist is Biggie Smalls.
Leilani Kaihe-Bennett, 15, says their other song called Changes is about going through hard times and not holding back.
The songs are written as a collaboration but the group’s favourite lyric was written by 13 year-old Kuwani Assefa:
“Kids be chasing me like I was the ice-cream man, not the fireman, I call Avondale up in my styles.”
Artist and mentor Hayley J Hansell has been conducting the workshops with other community-minded artists.
“We didn’t know how they would be around the pressure of the music video,” she says, but added that not once did they lose enthusiasm. “They loved every minute. “They want to start their own record label,” she says.
The group has worked with music industry heavyweights including Joost Langeveld, Chris Van Der Geer, Luke ‘Orphan’ Berryman, Justice, Ethical and Joseva Viqasi.
Miss Hansell says there are 12 key kids who produced the video and about 20 in the group.
She says there has been a transition in the workshops from Americanised lyrics to things about themselves.
The group is currently considering concepts for an album.
The Auckland City Council is involved with the workshops and all proceeds from the single are going towards AMP’s chosen charity, Youthline.
Councillor Paul Goldsmith says the project has provided the kids with a positive opportunity to talk about their lives, Avondale and the issues that are important to them.
“The group has worked hard and achieved something to be proud of.
“It’s great to be able to nurture local talent and help young people to participate in the arts in a way that appeals to them.”
Anyone who is interested in joining AMP can contact the Avondale Community Centre on 828-3302.
The track can also be found at www.amplifier.co.nz.
A free music video download will be available throughout May to celebrate New Zealand Music Month.