My Pockets worked with young people at the Greenlife Project in Hull to write a song called 'RELEASE'
The Greenlife Project works with young people who are NEET and helps them to address the challenges they face in their lives to get them into work and education.
The group was made up of very different young people with very different musical tastes. At first there was some resistance to getting involved and working together. The young people suffered from a lack of confidence and found it hard to believe that they could make music.
There was a key moment on the project when we all began talking about the things that stopped the young people fulfilling their potential. There was a real mix of very real hurdles that they faced, problems with housing, relationships and family. The young people began sharing what they do to escape with their problems. Everyone was interested to hear what others do to cope, from dancing, driving, running and playing Minecraft to listening to Metal.
This conversation felt very significant, the atmosphere changed, the young people found a common ground to write their song. Each of them wrote a verse alone about their personal release and they wrote the chorus together. There was a real sense of group ownership over the song and the following sessions as we put it together were very powerful.
The professional musicians working on the project presumed that the song would have a feeling of release about it. That it would build and be up tempo. But the young people all played at a slow tempo. At first we fought this, but then realised that this was coming from them and we should let them find their own way. The result is a song that is lyrically about a release, but musically doesn’t let you go. This feels representative of the young people’s experiences and is an example of the benefit of empowering them to take a creative lead and tell their own story. It has lead to a song that is truthful and honest.
On listening to the song together we were all proud of the result of our work together. Have a listen here - LISTEN TO RELEASE