Jamming for a Sustainable Hip-Hop Future

Af Mia Beyer

RAPOLITICS and students from Vallekilde Folk High School were in October 2015 for the second time in Alexandria, Egypt, in order to boost Revolution Records’ studio! The trip is an example of a great hip-hop partnership between Egyptian raptivists, Danish high school students and RAPOLITICS. In this blog entry, Mia from RAPOLITICS give us an update on the studio.

Not only for rappers

Dope hip hop tunes flows from Revolution Records’ studio whilst people are chatting, building outdoor constructions, hanging around and enjoying each others company. A group of young rock musicians enters the studio, carrying instruments and greeting everyone as were they entering their own living room.

The moving and reestablishment of their new studio in Alexandria has changed the everyday life and flow of Revolution Records’ work. Revolution Records’ studio is now, more than ever, being used by musicians of all kinds – the other day a 60-year-old man came to record old Egyptian songs. Mostly young people between 18-30 who play all kinds of music – e.g. rock, rap, jazz and folklore – come to jam and improve their tunes in the studio.

Jamming in a Better Studio

Since RAPOLITICS visited the studio together with Vallekilde Folk High School in the spring 2015, the traffic of people has become more dense and the atmosphere another; it is very inclusive and kind of asks for people to pop by and join in and play music, have a tea,make friendship and plan for new activities.  One of the students from Vallekilde who participated in the latest trip to Alexandria in October 2015, says: "I believe the studio is of great importance for many young people who wants to work with music, but who haven’t got the tools themselves. The studio gives youth a possibility to express themselves creatively together with others"

Building the jamming room has made a big difference. They guys from Revolution Records says: "The jamming room is a good step because the people who make use of the room is representing the whole underground scene. So it’s working for all musicians. We are now the most popular studio in the whole of Alexandria – so it is better than our old studio"

A Sustainable Future

I am sitting next door to the studio drinking a coffee and smoking a sisha with Rock, Mezo and Rooney from Revolution Records talking about their future. They express that their new studio, which RAPOLITICS and Vallekilde helped build and open in the Spring 2015, gives them a feeling of having their own place. Now they have an independent space with a private entrance. This also means that they can put up a Revolution Records’ sign in front of the building, which is exactly what have been done during this trip.

The present challenges are to sound isolate the ceiling so the man upstairs doesn’t complain and to keep up with ‘the beat’ of the musicians – so Revolution Records studio can keep delivering what the musicians needs and keep up with the pace of the underground scene. The next big thing will be to get new equipment, so they can start to record bands too, which is a much-needed facility in Alexandria. Revolution Records are happy: "The studio is almost sustainable with the jamming room and the recordings. With the last few things we need we can make it totally sustainable in the future."

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Follow the development of the studio and the future travels on facebook.com/BOOSThiphop and instagram #boosthiphop. Read more about the project here.

Mia Beyer is a board member in RAPOLITICS as well as a teacher in Vallekilde Folk High School. She is responsible for the hip-hop partnership with Revolution Records together with Kiki Hyndige and Camilla Kronborg from RAPOLITICS.