the Southern Star Saturday 16th November (By Áilín Quinlan)
Top hip-hop artist MissElayneous is teaming up with a group of teen rappers from Dunmanway and Bantry to perform at a major conference in West Cork next week.
What is expected to be a spectacular production is culmination of several months’ work by the 14-member teen group, RAVE, which, in conjunction with Dublin musician MissElayneous, has recorded a specially written ‘Rap Against Violence’ piece to be performed for the first time at the conference on domestic violence. The performance, which will take place in Bantry next Thursday, November 21st, is the result of a partnership between West Cork Women Against Violence (WCWAV) and Dunmanway Family Resource Centre’s teenage rap group.
The idea – to forge the artistic and musical talents of teenagers in both Bantry and Dunmanway. ‘We wanted to do a project with young people about violence against women,’ explains Marie Mulholland director of WCWAV. ‘We provide a crisis service to the female victims of domestic violence and we see a need to educate the next generation, otherwise we’ll constantly be putting a sticking plaster on a problem.’ The conference, called ‘The Personal and Public Cost of Domestic Violence’, is aimed at the service providers who work in this area – including the gardai, the health service and social services. ‘However, we also decided that we wanted to raise awareness amongst young people and we knew about the rap project which had taken place in Dunmanway and felt that if that was the kid’s form of expression, we would use it.’ Following grant aid of €2,000 from COSC, the national committee on domestic, gender and sexual violence, it was decided to team up with the Dunmanway Family Resource Centre.
A 14-strong core group of male and female rappers from Dunmanway and Bantry has been working with WCWAV and the Dunmanway Family Resource Centre promoting awareness of domestic violence amongst young people. ‘When we had talked about domestic violence and they understood the dynamics, they wrote a rap piece about it.’
Recorded One of Ireland’s best-known rappers, Dublin hip-hop singer MissElayneous has been working with the group on the production of the piece. On November 1st last, the youngsters, aged between 14 and 18, recorded their song at the studio of another well-known rapper, GMC in Cork: ‘These teenagers have had the opportunity to work with tow of Ireland’s best-known rappers-it has been a great experience,’ said Ms Mulholland, who said that, following the recording of the song, the group, RAVE, was now working on artwork for the hoodies and T-shirts they planned to wear on November 21st at Bantry’s Maritime Hotel, when along with MissElayneous, they perform their piece in front of a large audience. ‘This is very innovative way to promote awareness of domestic violence and violence against women’, said Ms Mulholland. ‘Rap gets a bad name because it is often about gangsters and violence, but we wanted to take that violent image and turn it on its head by showing how teenagers can use rap to get across their message against violence.’ Keynote speakers at the seminar include Dr. Kylee Trevillion, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London; Nata Duvvury, Political Science and Socialogy, NUI Galway; Jane Ruffino, domestic violence survivor, and Annie Campbell, director Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland.
*The conference, “The Personal and Public Cost of Domestic Violence”, will take place on Thursday, November 21st in The Maritime Hotel, Bantry from 9:30am to 4:30pm. The cost is €45 (waged) for €25 (students/concessions). See www.westcorkwomensproject.ie for further details and information, phone 027-53847 or email email@example.com.
DUNMANWAY RAPPERS LAUNCH CD
The Southern Star BY ÁILÍN QUINLAN
THESE West Cork teenagers are not afraid to look life right in the face – their new rap album tackles everything from domestic violence and suicide to learning from your life experiences.
The seven tracks on the Dunmanway group’s CD, ‘Livin’ Tha Good Life’, created a major splash with the audience when the album was launched recently at the town’s Youth Café.
In all, about 14 adolescents aged between 14 and 18 were involved in the project, which was funded by Leargas Youth in Action and the HSE.
‘Some of the members were performing or acting as support crew while others were involved in the artwork’, explained project co-ordinator Kirstie Smith.
The group, known as the Dunmanway Youth Rap Project, was set up in the town four years ago under the aegis of Dunmanway Family Resource Centre.
Its’ members created the rap CD after months of preparation which began last January.
‘A lot of time was spent at weekly workshops where they learned how to write rap and do the artwork involved. They also discussed different themes for the songs so there were brainstorming sessions and workshops on the different types of music and the use of language’, said Kirstie.
‘A lot of background work went into the project, so that when it came to writing and producing, it was much easier because so much preparation had gone into it’.
The seven tracks focus on a variety of real-life themes – issues such as summer holidays, feelings of powerlessness, issues such as domestic violence, suicide and the need to take a positive approach to life by using life experiences to help your self-development and turning your life around by seeing how tough experiences can make you strong.
‘This group is very solution-focused’, says Kirstie. More than 60 people turned up for the group’s highly professional performance and the launch of their CD, which will soon be on sale in local shops.
Proceeds from the sale of the album will be used to purchase recording studio time and hold further music-related workshops.
In the meantime the group are not resting on their laurels – in conjunction with well-known Dublin rapper Temper-Mental Miscellaneous, they’ve begun work on a new album with the Bantry-based West Cork Women Against Violence (WCWAV).
‘The rap group has moved to Bantry to write and record a rap album on the subject of domestic violence,’ says Kirstie, who adds that the group are working with the WCWAV’s support worker.
The new CD will be recorded in early November and the group will perform on November 21st at the annual conference of the West Cork Women Against Violence.