Hey Guys!

As a lot of you already know, Potent Whisper and FLOetic Lara lead a project here at Raw Material entitled “Raw Bars” To those of you who are new to the Raw Material family; “Raw Bars” is a project that works to develop young people’s lyricism, rap and performance skills.

Last night, after about nine months worth of projects, we had our first Raw Bars event to showcase the material that has been created during the projects… and… well… the levels were HIGH!

I think people were genuinely surprised at the quality of a lot of the material, and with the energy and confidence that some of the young artists had, it was hard to believe that this was in fact the first time a lot of the acts had performed… ever!

Ramon and Potent

“The musical, and personal, development that I have seen so many of our participants make is absolutely incredible and the showcase was testament to the abundance of talent we have in, and around, Lambeth. I honestly can’t tell you how proud I feel to have been a part of their journey in some way.”

– Potent Whisper (Raw Bars Tutor)

It was great to see so many of the public reach out to attend the showcase, hosted by FLOEtic Lara. However, if you missed it, our camera crew captured all the action and you can expect footage with all the highlights very soon, ahead of the release of the very first Raw Bars Mixtape!

Keep your eyes (and ears) open!

Kool family! This is Potent Whisper, writing to you from the Raw HQ in Brixton.

I’m not going to beat around the bush with some fancy intro, this story doesn’t need one! This summer… I flew to Senegal to represent Raw Material alongside Nanci & Phoebe and Marc Brown. We took the 7 hour flight to deliver rap workshops and performances at the international Hip Hop festival “Festa2H” and trust me when I say this wasn’t just a trip… it was a journey.

Aside from playing to thousands of young Senegalese Hip Hop heads, the workshops were a real highlight for me. With the aid of our translator (Big ups to Lucille!) we were given a rare opportunity to really connect with our family from afar, sharing art, exchanging truths, and generally having a laugh! Having originally been a Spoken Word artist myself, I was also excited to learn that they had an extra special love for “Slam” poetry and we even had the honour of rapping with a Griot! (Look it up!)

Towards the end of our stay in Senegal we took a short boat ride to Goree Island, which really put a historical and somewhat sinister twist to our trip. Inhabited by just over 1000 people, Goree Island is known simply as “The House Of Slaves” and once saw millions of African citizens imprisoned, tortured and be shipped abroad to Europe and America. As we walked through some of the cells, I put my hands against the very walls which once imprisoned so many tortured human beings; the walls stained by their blood and tears. I stood in the “Door of no Return” (The infamous door where so many millions of slaves had to “Say bye to Africa – forever”) It was a surreal and disturbing feeling to stand there. I decided to pay respect in my own way by rapping a verse about freedom, in front of the iconic stairwells.

Senegal_Gorée_(8)

There is so much to tell you about our experience in Senegal and we will be talking in a lot more detail about it at Raw Material’s “LEGACY” event, this Tuesday 22nd October. Aside from discussions, the free event will also feature live performances from Nanci & Phoebe, DJ Snuff (Caxton Press) and yours truly! More details on the  LEGACY event HERE

See you there!

Iona thought the workshop was “very fun, I learnt lots” Mollie liked writing her rap … her mum Astley thought it was “fantastic! Great place for kids to experience new things and to engage them in their interest”

Check out some images from the first workshop, young aspiring DJ’s and lyricists working with Tagz, FLOetic Lara and DJ Mantra, girl power alive and well on the South Coast!

Raw Roads first Rap and lyricism workshop in Folkestone at 3 – 7 Tontine St.

FLOetic Lara, Potent Whisper and Tagz supporting the creation of some original lyrical content alongside some classic vinyl DJ skills with wu-lu and Double O. Thanks to Natty from DefCon and FMSG inc Richard for their creative input and involvement.

“Good workshop. Learnt not to be shy. I was writing my own lyrics” Stefan, age 12.

Support the local talent and the Raw Roads tour at the performance event on Saturday 20th April at 6pm – 3-7 Tontine St, Folkestone – free, everyone welcome.

Got anything to add to the blog? Email any images, video or text (lyrical content from the workshop, feedback etc.) to Lucy at raw roads@gmail.com and we’ll post it for you.

Raw Roads first performance event @ Cliftown Theatre – with Focus Youth Centre artists performing for the first time. What a way to start the tour! Thank you everyone, see you on route and in Brixton for the end of tour wrap party 29th June 2013!!

“An excellent music workshop/discussions with young people that centred around them and the issues they experience… In particular seeing two of our more challenging young people feeling confident enough to engage fully in the session, taking a lead in singing and rapping…this activity gives them both something positive to focus on and is something they would certainly enjoy more of if provided. 20 young people took part in the session which was brilliant! Very positive.”
Trevor Brand, Yoiuth Worker @ Focus/Shoebury Youth Centres, Southend

Got anything to add to the blog? Email any images, video or text (lyrical content from the workshop, feedback etc.) to Lucy at raw roads@gmail.com and we’ll post it for you.

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