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Music and Politics

It was after choosing to open a show last week with artists from the Grime scene, inspired by the work of the late Jamal Edwards (Smokey Beats - SB.TV founder ) and his contributions to music. By exploring these previous years of musical taste and adventure which resonated, that then opened up my mind to the sheer impact and voice that music has when putting out a message and communicating to the world.

What I really mean, is I already knew this but it's sharing this stance with everyone else that makes it more real. Such is an art to navigate significant, controversial and realistic topics of conversation that provokes the listener to delve deeper.

For years, in fact, most likely since basic tribal rhythms began, music has influenced society from the start. By guiding, inviting, travelling and enchanting, this medium is most effective in addressing social, political and economical stance, as much as it can act as a form of meditiative escape.

Think about that for a second...

Something that both triggers and addresses the serious side of life, as much as it does the most influential and stimulating need we have as human beings.

It enables us to communicate and analyse the most significant situations we encounter. Both as an artist and as a listener.


So why, you might ask, is politics run by such questionably pragmatic goats?

.... Humorous or concerning?

This leads to the underlining issue about how governments seemingly front our past, present and futures and what real choice that we have in the impact that they have.

Here is the value adding system - music.

The one source of communication which gathers, identifies and demonstrates serious issues and can be understood by almost, if not all, sectors within society.

So why, you are beginning to wonder, aren't we doing more about this?

Here's my point... if we can design our political system in a form of art, we can reach a much wider audience therefore more engagement and participation in our current and future assets that can be taken on as collective responsibility. In short, use music to make political systems much clearer, easier to understand and enable the listener (at whatever age) to be [fully] engaged. - That in my opinion is refreshing.

With the sad news we face in Ukraine, we see the world developing strategies to do their best to maintain peace. Ukrainian citizens were gathered together on the evening before the Russian invasion singing the national anthem for solidarity and peace. It's sad to see there are greedier and devastating forces that relentlessly engage in war, hasten to say the majority of the world are acting accordingly within the United Nations - an organisation that was brought about in 1945 following the second world war - and most likely, not to act as a conscious significant feature within many people's lives if they were born after this era - until now.

My point being, that education is delivered in such a way that boxes are ticked (or crossed) and compulsory systems are followed between the ages of 4-16 within the education system but following this process anything that is no longer engaging/relevant is likely not to be covered again. When has the curriculum been updated in recent years to discuss financial management, real world issues, political systems, sustainable (eco) and holistic living?

It's all [perhaps not] very well that the government takes the job of designing this system, since they are not the future of our world and our planet - but it's our children and their children.

So how do we teach, encourage and take into account their own views, decisions, skills and impact?

The new system I would implement is introducing the Ed Sheeran's, Bob Marley's, Gill Scott Herron's, Mary J Blige's, Wycleff Jean's, Pussy Riot, M.I.A, Black Eyed Peas, Al Green's. Bono's and Banksy's into the school system and engaging with them to cultivate a curriculum based on their work.

Designing a programme which allows our future generations to understand (*note* that's different than simply remembering details for a test paper) real world issues and then equally as importantly think for themselves. By putting pen to paper, mouse to computer, fingers to keyboard and brain to whatever instrument that may be of relevance and choice to explore the inner voice and make sense. How much more powerful could that be in developing the brain structures, emotional states and impact of our next generation?

It could be spitting bars, singing classical, programming beats, speaking words but overall a stimulating conversation - however controversial - shouldn't be hidden from our babies, or presented in such a way they pay no attention ... as it's they who are the future.

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