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Red carpet treatment for Newham youngsters who recorded anti-knife crime music

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 November 2019

Young people who took part in a project at Bonny Downs Community Association have premiered songs made to highlight their views on knife crime and youth violence. Picture: BDCA

Young people who took part in a project at Bonny Downs Community Association have premiered songs made to highlight their views on knife crime and youth violence. Picture: BDCA

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The red carpet has been rolled out for talented youngsters who recorded music to speak out against knife culture.

The songs were premiered at an event on Saturday, November 9, in front of friends, families and community leaders at The Well Community Centre in Vicarage Lane, East Ham.

They created the music during Bonny Downs Community Association's (BDCA) Go Wild summer scheme, in partnership with Community Albums, a charity using music and media to help give communities a voice.

David Mann, chairman of BDCA and minister at Bonny Downs Baptist Church, said: "Too often society tends to pigeonhole young people as the problem, whereas this powerful music shows that they can - and must - be part of the solution to youth violence.

"It also proves that Newham is bursting with talent and, thanks to the legacy from this project of a new mobile music studio, we look forward to helping more young people to make their voices heard and be changemakers in their communities."

Songs written by young people about knife crime and youth violence were premiered on Saturday, November 9 in front of friends, families and community leaders. Picture: Community AlbumsSongs written by young people about knife crime and youth violence were premiered on Saturday, November 9 in front of friends, families and community leaders. Picture: Community Albums

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In a series of workshops, the young people wrote, recorded and produced two songs about their experiences and feelings about knife culture and youth violence.

The project has also left a legacy in the shape of a mobile music studio which BDCA will bring to other young people in the area.

One of the teenagers, whose 17-year-old cousin was stabbed to death, provided inspiration for the track Darkness into Light, describing how status on the streets can never be as important as a life.

The mobile music studio used for the project will be taken to other areas so more young people can get involved. Picture: Community AlbumsThe mobile music studio used for the project will be taken to other areas so more young people can get involved. Picture: Community Albums

Raniyah, 13, helped to create the song 3 Pillars based on three things her father always told her, including his message to make sure you value your life as you'll never get it back again.

D'Quan, 12, attended the event and said: "I hope the music will help make people think and put their knives down, and that this event will help the community come together to bring peace and hope to the next generation."

The event is the latest in a series of collaborations involving BDCA and Newham churches, including an event in June during which knives seized from the streets were turned into sculpture and the launch of Newham's only on-street knife bin outside the Stratford Salvation Army church.

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