Shepparton could have a few more musical exports thanks to an innovative program to show the ins and outs of hip-hop to African youth.
Pastor Matt Anker from St Paul’s Lutheran Church started up a program last year to get young people involved in creating and performing their own music.
After he noticed that a lot of the young people were into hip-hop, he recruited a producer from Melbourne-based hip-hop outfit Diafrix to come to Shepparton and help out.
It was not not long until the young people were creating and recording their own beats and raps.
‘‘I have been astounded by the quality of the lyrics and the recordings,’’ Mr Anker said.
‘‘It is a great way for young people to express themselves, their joys and frustrations and everything else.’’
After the program received early support from Multicultural Arts Victoria, it got a sizeable boost this week from a Creative Victoria arts grant.
The $12000 grant will go towards more studio recordings and even a few music videos of the young African musicians.
‘‘It’s a very friendly medium that young people can use to express themselves,’’ Mr Anker said.
‘‘There is a real sense of achievement and pride in being about to produce something. The first time they heard the finished product they couldn’t quite believe it.’’
Take a listen to the young people’s music at sheppnews.com.au