Hip hop group revel in video

Central Leader - - News - By Rhi­an­non Hor­rell

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.

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