There is no doubt that Sydney has a dynamically growing hip-hop culture with several facets. It was great to see how hip-hop in Sydney represented itself when it was incorporated into three high profile events with a global appeal.
Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD) All Access Conference
MMAD united aspiring performers, with Australia’s most popular musicians and industry representatives in one location for a two day event. Participants were allowed to choose from a range of session focused on topics in both the business and creative side of the music including music, including songwriting, marketing, and performing. This conference had several components that related to my research. For example, there was one strand of sessions that allowed participants to see the global relationship that exist between music and social justice. Additionally artist who had developed relationships with the New South Wales school system explained the process for conducting workshops as well as concerts in tandem with school events, (in both non-profit and for-profit endeavors). Artist such as Morganics and The Street Warriors talked about their work in the Aboriginal community. Bliss from Bliss N Eso explained how they had to develop social media and digital technology skills in order to promote themselves and hone their craft. Morganics, Mistery, Miracle, MC Trey, and Mind Over Matter, spoke on a panel about the history of hip-hop in Australia, as well as the positive impact of many of the collaborations they have taken part in throughout their career. Each of these artists has worked with numerous youth based programs and has helped several current artist launch their career.
Additionally, workshop participants were invited to prepare a presentation to present to the established artist on hand, for the purposes of receiving personalized feedback on their delivery. Attendees were also provided the opportunity to ask questions about publishing, audio and video production, and legal matters. Most importantly, participants learned how to network with major artist and industry insiders, and in some cases, mentorship relationships were formed. This conference is an annual event, so you may be able to attend next year: http://mmad.org.au/AAA/. I will be providing further insight from Trey and Mind or Media in a future blog.
TedxSydney and Hip-Hop
I won a ticket to attend TEDxSydney. The TED in TEDxSydney stands for Technology, Entertainment & Design. It is a US based not-for-profit enterprise devoted to providing a platform for Ideas Worth Spreading. TEDx has been in existence since 1984 and has expanded to locations all over the world. This year in Sydney, an eclectic group of brilliant people, which included scientists, musicians, teachers, entrepreneurs, anthropologist, historians, etc… shared fascinating speeches about their work. You may remember one of the speakers from a previous blog post on Hip-Hop, Global Citizenship, and Double Consciousness. Rima Najm, AKA Soul Beats, took the stage to speak to global injustice. The idea she shard was simple yet profound; the presence of injustice in any part of the world prohibits an earthly utopia. You can see the talk which inspired quite a bit of discussion/debate here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKTgGnv6o28. Rima, who is not only an artist, but also a technologist, sat down with me to discuss ideas around hip-hop, global citizenship and digital literacies. I will share more of our discussion in a future post, that focuses in on women on hip-hop.
3Things – OxFam Australia
This organization takes on some of the negative propaganda that has been generated about Digital Natives…specifically that youth today are so digitally entranced in digital devices and personalized spaces that they ignore opportunities to contribute to the collective society. 3Things believes that youth today also have a passion to make the world they live in a better place and asks them to think about 3Things they can do to make that happen. The specific event I attended, Sydney’s Hip-Hop approach, had artist from Obese Records, Elefant Traks and Big Village Records, performing their hits, sharing their experiences, and encouraging youth to share via video, and writing, the three things they could do to make a difference. The event was also designed to get Australian hip hop acts talking about their opinions and solutions to global poverty and injustice. Artists jammed on the 3things they can do to help change the world for the better, demonstrating the 3things philosophy – that each person can change the world, 3things at a time The music and performances by artist which included OziBatla, DJ Victor Lopez, The Last Kinection, DJ Gabriel Clouston, and The Tongue were amazing.