Thursday, 13 November 2014

Living Music's "Meeting Ground" Preview

Music makes the people come together. You've heard it before, but it's true. Music can bring communities together and lead to positive change in so many lives. It's pretty powerful stuff, our old friend music. The good people at Living Music believe this and have been running an initiative directed at Australian youth that aims to focus and channel their struggles and strengths into music, such as 'Fatherhood' by KingLOCHBOLO. The track is the lead single from Living Music's compilation album, Meeting Ground, which will be showcased this Sunday (16/11/14) at the Revolt Art Space in Kensington, Melbourne. To preview the event, Joel Martin provided us with an interview with artist mentor, Julez to talk about the program and the upcoming showcase.

Interview by Joel Martin

Living Music’s compilation album ‘Meeting Ground’ contains works from youths involved in the Juvenile Justice System throughout Victoria. The community group is launching the album on Sunday, and to take us through his experience of helping create the album, we talk to program mentor, MC Julez.

How did you get involved with Living Music and the programs that they run?

Julez: I began working with living music in 2007 as a mentor for the underground loop project. From there I began to work as an in house producer and workshop facilitator.

Living Music’s work with youths from difficult backgrounds seems like a tough gig. What is it like being a mentor to these kids?

Julez: It’s a rewarding experience. Especially when the kids invest in the process. Watching them change in terms of their confidence and self-awareness is the most exciting aspect of the program.

Photo by Chasca Summerville

Working with these youths must be a different process to making music for yourself. How do you go about making tracks with the participants?

Julez: It’s like any collaboration. You have to get to know the young person you’re working with and find their interests, discuss their life experiences and perspective on life. Usually it takes a few sessions to find a good collaborative relationship. The process is different for each participant. For this reason it’s important to be flexible and quick to adapt.

What can listeners expect from the ‘Meeting Ground’ record?

Julez: The compilation is mostly hip-hop but within that there is a lot of variety. We had a lot of female participants this year, which was great. In previous years it’s been mostly males. The subject matter is very thought provoking and self-reflective. The mentors were all really effective in appealing to that aspect of the participants personalities.

The album launch is this Sunday, how are the nerves of everyone involved and what is happening on the day?

Julez: Nerves are high but there’s a lot of excitement as well. We have a huge number of participants performing so it will be a jam-packed 3 hours. This is the first year we’ve extended the mentor program to regional Victoria. We have a crew from Wodonga making the voyage down to showcase the music they’ve created with local mentors Josh and Jeremy.

What records are you listening to at the moment?

Julez: A bizarre mix of Joey Bada$$, Thriftworks, Debussy, and Pharoahe Monch at the moment!

The ‘Meeting Ground’ album launch is this Sunday at Revolt Artspace in Kensington, entry is free and it goes from 2pm-5pm.

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