Read on to find out what New Gen got up to last term.
New Gen continued the recording section of their Mental Health EP at the start of 2023 with the help of the tutors and Emile from Punch Studios. Each of the three bands took turns to record in the live room while the other either rehearsed or worked on their mix post-recording.
New Gen also launched their own Instagram page! Project Coordinator Kristin worked closely with Mark (community Praxis) around safeguarding the process and how to keep it as youth-led as possible, and Kristin then went on to work with young person N in supporting and signing off content creation inside and outside of sessions. Guidelines of usage were written up and Kristin and N have 121’s to monitor his progress and help with anything he may need.
You can view their instagram via @newgenofficial_uk.
“These songs were created under the topic of mental health and the struggles related to it, and trying to cope with life”
After the recording process New Gen curated the set-list and tech spec for their 'Mind Over Matter' EP launch in February and artwork was also created by young person W. Their mental health EP launch was a hugely successful evening at The Smokehouse. With an impressive turn-out they showed great talent and professionalism during a set of solo and band songs with support and respect for each other's performances. There were also young people behind the scenes with H shadowing on sound and N running lights. You can listen to the EP on the ICM YouTube here!
‘Determination’ is a song made up of several people’s letters or prayers to the universe that include feelings of loneliness, feeling low and the struggles of life. It’s the determination you find to get through.
‘Deep Breaths’ is about reassuring yourself that although things may be difficult, they’ll get better as long as you keep breathing and have faith in the process.
‘Infected’ is about being emotionally manipulated by another person, but the victim is at a breaking/turning point where they realise how badly they’ve been treated.
"I'm sure everyone enjoyed it as much as I did" - S (New Gen young person)
“I was in awe at their talent and the lyrics around the topic of mental health were really moving” - N (audience member)
“What a powerful message through melodies of the new gen. Thank you all, it was exceptional to listen to you.” - J (Mother of SSK young person)
An interview with E and J from New Gen at the EP launch was aired on BBC Introducing Suffolk on February 18th, and 2 of the 3 tracks ‘Deep Breaths’ and ‘Determination’ have been played on BBC Introducing Suffolk to date.
We started fresh after the Mental Health EP project with 3 new participants, refocusing on songwriting which had been fed back from the New Gen young people the previous half-term as their sustained main interest. We spent some time reflecting on what a songwriter is, what motivates us to write songs and what it means to song write looking at themes such as creativity, motivation, inspiration, expression and practice.
"It was really fun" Y (new attendee)
We took a more in-depth look at lyric writing, looking at how pictures and words can spark inspiration for a story. Each group played their idea back and expressed how well they thought this worked.
Our following workshop looked at how chords and harmony can be utilised when writing. We spoke a little bit about keys and how to build chords, and also about intervals when writing harmonies. We then split into 3 groups to write a song using the new knowledge and demonstrating 2 examples of harmony.
Our last session of term was wrapped up by popular demand with a DJ workshop led by tutor Gil alongside a tech session in Punch Studio 1 ahead of some groups rehearsing privately over the Easter Holidays in preparation for Mayday Festival. We also gathered some feedback from this half-term.
"This place is too perfect" - Y
"Everything's great, I love being in different groups and learning new instruments" - E
New Gen participants Sophie and Sonny also assisted at the WS Training Wellbeing event in March, helping to spread the word of New Gen with tutors Kristin and Jan from Out Loud Music.
It's been a busy term. Thanks to all the young people involved for their hard work and creativity. Loads more coming up this term so watch this space...