What influence does music have?

We sat down in Project B on July 18th to talk all about the influence of music, which was a conversation that took off into numerous directions that I was never expecting.  Nevertheless, it made the night incredibly interesting.

To get everyone warmed up, I asked them to share what music means to them.  Responses included:

  • “An inspiration.”  You can be inspired by the career of others in music. – Andrae
  • “Music is parallel universes.  I can see other versions of myself in music.” – Alana
  • “Music is my pain, and then my happiness.”  All the bad from the past influences the happiness that I have.” – Unorthodox
  • “Music is a lot.” – Hakeem
  • “The point where you can appreciate music and you’re in the zone.  Music can take you to a happy place and a sad place.” – Pekz

Pekz also added a personal anecdote to his explanation, telling us that he’s been doing music for a very long time – “Music’s like that one woman I keep going back to.”

Pekz later delved right into the influence of music, saying that “there are people that influence it in the wrong way” and that music influences our younger generation.  He also expressed that music has a lot of power in decisions that we make in life, but as human beings we have some common sense to recognise the good from the bad.

Unorthodox backed up this point, saying, “The music is the problem…There’s people under 16 doing things they’ve seen in the videos and heard in the songs.”

I then posed the question, what effects have music had on you?  Hakeem said that music helps him when he’s stressed out, and Alana told us that the music she listens to that relaxes her is Disney and Barbie – “I feel I can jump into them and in a different world.”

Pekz made the point that a lot of music is for the female base – “I can go to a bashment rave and see 70% females.”  He also added, “Women support music more than mandem” and that women buy into music more.

Women would be a recurring theme during our conversation, as we spent time speaking about interacting and dancing with women in clubs.  We also spoke about general interactions between males and females – “Everything that’s good looking is not always the good thing,” said Pekz.

As you know, we love individuals sharing their stories and personal experiences at YPI.  One of the most special moments of the night was Pekz and Unorthodox sharing how music was the base of their friendship.  “Music can bring people together,” said Pekz.

I later asked: What are your thoughts on the link between music and misogyny towards women?  Andrae thinks that music’s behind it, while Unorthodox told us, “This is why I respect old music, because they were bigging up women.”

Pekz went a little deeper, using another personal experience – “I said something in one of my songs, because a lot of women are referring to themselves in that way.”  He later added that “a lot of women today are idolising 67.”

This also led on to us talking about the differences between hip hop, rap and grime, as well as how hip hop has changed over the years.  “Back in the day, people had something to say,” expressed Andrae.

My final question of the night was, what would you say to someone who is living out negative stereotypes that stem from music?

  • “I’m doing it now through my music.” – Unorthodox
  • “We can still appreciate music without listening to all the negative stuff.  You shouldn’t be afraid to hear new stuff.” – Pekz
  • “Explore many different types of lyrics… Research into what you listen to and don’t just listen to it.” – Alana

I’ll leave you with a final point from Pekz, who said, “Everything is a live and learn situation… Music can influence you to do positive things, because it depends on the types of lyrics.”

Our next forum won’t be until October, as we’re bringing The Complete Freedom of Truth to Croydon on August 20th and in September we’re taking a well-earned break.  You can ‘Get Together’ with us at our next social event on August 6th, but for now, save the date of October 17th when we’ll be talking Culture.

Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following @youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, liking Young People Insight on Facebook and subscribing to the Young People Insight YouTube channel.

Info for July’s YP Insight Forum & Poetic Insight

We’re now very much into the month of July, so I apologise for being late with this blog post, but I’ve been crazy busy with the exciting things we’ve got coming up in August!!  Hopefully you’ve seen some of the information about the events we’ve got coming in July already.

At the request of Kyle, we are going to be talking music at the forum on July 18th.  However, since music is such a broad subject, we decided to focus on ‘The Influence of Music’ this time round.

What are some of the effects of music on the ears of the listener?  Do you think it has a negative influence on young individuals, particularly young black individuals?  What are your thoughts on the link between music and misogyny towards women?

There are so many more questions that could come into play, so come chill with us, join the conversation and bring any questions of your own.  We’ll be meeting at the usual time of 6.30-8.30pm in Project B and of course, there will be snacks to munch on.  Let me know you’re coming by registering here: http://bit.ly/ypiinfluenceofmusic

Poetic Insight returns on July 25th.  Like previous months, there is no theme, so feel free to make your voice heard on whatever subject you choose.  If you’re a young poet wanting to speak your mind on the Poetic Insight stage, send an email to shaniquab29@yahoo.co.uk or message me at 07910092565.

Doors open at 7pm with performances starting at about 7.20pm and the event concluding at 9pm. You can also register for the event at Eventbrite: http://bit.ly/poeticinsight-july17

It’s set to be another good month of events, building up to the excitement of August.  Keep looking out for more information about what we’ve got coming up for you.  You’re gonna love it.

Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following @youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, liking Young People Insight on Facebook and subscribing to the Young People Insight YouTube channel.

Highs & Lows at Poetic Insight

On June 27th, Poetic Insight was all about the theme of Life.  I wanted it to be an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate life after all of the sadness and craziness that has been plaguing our country recently.  However, life has a way of throwing you curve balls and not going the way you’d like it to.

I like to be honest and I think it’s good to be open when it comes to YPI, which means telling you about some of the slightly lower points, as well as the highs.

Last month’s Poetic Insight was one of those slightly lower points in some respects, as the community did not come out to support as I would have liked, and it was the smallest audience and number of performers so far.  This was also a night I dedicated to my Uncle, who suddenly passed away in May and was always full of life, so I wanted this night to be special for him.

However, there was a great positive in the smaller audience, as it gave a young person the courage to get up and perform, which she would not have done in front of a larger audience.  It was great to watch JayJay gather confidence as the night went on, asking to perform again and deliver a performance with greater conviction than before.

Young people like JayJay are the reason I started YPI in the first place, so being able to give her that opportunity was amazing and made me feel proud on the night.  So all in all, the night was a success, even if the numbers had dwindled on a rainy evening.

It was also brilliant to listen to Alana’s story so far, telling us what it has been like living with autism – she shared some great poetry as well.  Annotate was fire as usual, dropping two spoken word poems that forced us to think about the lives of all individuals, whether they are here in the UK or in the Middle East, as well as the importance of being real.

I also shared the journey I took that led to me starting YPI and why it is so important for me to use the platform to make a change.  And at the end of the night, I emphasised the importance of making our voices heard and making a difference in our society, in spite of our age, because young people are just as important as anyone else.

So in spite of some initial disappointment, last month’s Poetic Insight turned out to be a lovely night and a great success.  After all, it’s about quality, not quantity.

The next Poetic Insight will be on July 25th, but there will be no theme this time, giving young poets and spoken word artists to speak out on whatever they choose.  If you want to perform, email me at shaniquab29@yahoo.co.uk or message me at 07910092565.

Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following @youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, liking Young People Insight on Facebook and subscribing to the Young People Insight YouTube channel.