Can you explain M.A.D.E for anyone who’s not heard of you before?
M.A.D.E is an educational music programme for 12–25-year-olds living in and around the Black Country. It has been created to provide young people with the opportunity to express themselves through writing music, producing tracks and professionally recording their work.
Through our sessions we provide all the necessary tools to young people to support their progress personally as well as shaping them to become better music makers.
What did the M.A.D.E team get up to over the summer?
We were pleased to be able to take seven young people to the studio for the first time. This gave them their first opportunities to experience what it would be like to make music and record in a professional setting. In total, the young people had access to six studio sessions where they recorded nine tracks.
Filming started for our M.A.D.E artist interview platform. We now have four artist videos filmed which will support our participants with their track and video releases. We encouraged the young people to perform at local open mic nights which they were excited about. Making music and performing requires a lot of confidence and we look to build this wherever we can. This could be through positive, constructive feedback in the studio or simply showing up to people’s performances so there’s a friendly face in the crowd.
Finally, we shot a music video during the summer period for one of our artists. This has been a great success and has encouraged some of the other artists as well as the team to want to do more.
What went well?
Our studio sessions went extremely well. We were really impressed with how mature, focused and professional the young people were throughout, considering they had not been to a studio before. It was uplifting to see young people express themselves in ways they hadn’t before and seeing how grateful they were for this opportunity.
Did anything unexpected happen? How did you overcome it?
We know that making music involves a lot of collaboration. Even if you think of yourself as a solo artist you have to be able to work with others to combine your skills to get the best result.
We had an occasion where one of the participants didn’t like working in groups. As the session progressed, and with our encouragement, they found that they needed the help of others. By the end of the studio session they had taken it upon themselves to work with the other participants, and even offered help to those that needed more support. This transformation was really positive for us to see and produced a great outcome for everyone.
What are your plans for next year?
Following the feedback and listening to the young people we’ve been working with we’ll certainly produce more music videos and live shows. We’ve been working hard on expanding what we provide and we’re looking forward to rolling out programmes that involve the local community, including master classes, collaborations and much, much more.