Building Community through Music
Hip Hop Harmony comes out of a fortunate synchronicity of ideas. In 2007 South Fremantle SHS Music ASP undertook a review with all its stakeholders. One of the outcomes of this review was a desire to expand opportunities students had for self expression and for developing their ability with music production technologies.
In 2008 the school built the first phase of its digital recording facilities - hardware to sit in the main studio. Using this equipment and generously supported by a grant from our Music Parents Committee and by local musician and producer Damien Summers a group of music students wrote, recorded and helped produce an original song, Fingertips (out of reach). This song was short listed in the WAMI song of the year, secondary category.
In 2009 Kulcha approached South Fremantle SHS with a concept for a Hip Hop music fusion project that involved our students in a mentoring relationship with a group of culturally diverse musicians who would guide them through the process of writing, arranging, recording, mixing and performing their own songs. Together ideas and a project concept were developed.
In 2010 the school committed to building phase 2 of the digital recording facilities which completed the digital keyboard lab in which students can record and mix their original songs.
In the same year South Fremantle SHS and Kulcha successfully applied for an Artists-in-residence (AIR) grant to make this exciting concept, Hip Hop Harmony, real.
What is Hip Hop Harmony?
Hip Hop Harmony is a joint Artist-in-Residence project with South Fremantle Senior High School and KULCHA Multicultural Arts that has invited leading Hip Hop artist Daz Reutens to work with students at the school from May to September 2011.
Supported by the Artist-in-Residence (AIR) Grants Program delivered in partnership by the Australia Council for the Arts and Western Australia’s Department of Culture and the Arts and Department of Education, Hip Hop Harmony is an exciting community project that encourages students to examine issues of identity, diversity and harmony through the contemporary genre of Hip Hop and digital music technology.
The central artist is Daz Reutens of leading local Hip Hop band Downsyde. Daz is of Burmese-Australian heritage and has developed a strong career in the national music industry with high rotation of his albums on Triple J and numerous production credits.
There are a number of additional guest artists involved that will also work with the students. Meng Jones is a Hip Hop artist of Malay-Australian heritage and is a leading MC, vocalist and beatboxer in the local scene. Tommy Truong is a Vietnamese Australian Hip Hop artist who produces bi-lingual work in Vietnamese and English, Djibril Diagne is a master drummer from Senegal, and Freddy Poncin an Afro-Cuban percussion specialist, who will bring greater musical depth to the project coordinated by South Fremantle Senior High School’s Music teacher Craig Wallace-Gibb.
“With the amazing combination of talents involved, it’s shaping up to be an incredible project that will really engage the students and produce some exciting new music,” said KULCHA General Manager, Jon Cope.
“We are really looking forward to taking the students on this musical journey, which will take the school’s music program into new territory and make the most of our fantastic Calvert Music Centre facilities,” said Principal, Geri Hardy.
“Hip Hop Harmony promises many exciting musical possibilities for our students as they fuse hip hop with a variety of musical styles and influences.” said Head of Arts, David Anderson
This Artist-In-Residence Grants Program project has been assisted by the Federal Government through the Australia Council for the Arts and the Western Australian State Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts and Department of Education.