Manifesto Jamaica announced the release of a new mixtape featuring graduates of their inaugural Music Mentorship Programme, an intensive course for aspiring music industry professionals designed to teach, through practical experience, the fundamentals of conceptualising, recording and releasing a body of recorded work. The programme introduces participants to music theory and songwriting principles, playing techniques and music business basics. Character and entrepreneurial development are also core elements.
The pilot launched in 2019 with an open audition attended by 60 young people, some as young as 12 years of age, vying for a place in the programme. A cohort of 20 writers, vocalists, producers and instrumentalists were ultimately selected to spend 10 weeks under the tutelage of Nyron Creary, teaching artist in residence, and music industry professionals including Lila Iké, Tandra ‘Lytes’ Jhagroo, Jeremy Ashbourne and Naomi Cowan, among others, at the legendary Tuff Gong Studios.
Commenting on his experience as a participant and graduate of the programme, Xavier ‘Lyrykzz’ Fraser said, “Manifesto Jamaica is a catalyst for many young creatives who wouldn’t attain the same exposure or impact if it weren’t for the types of interventions Manifesto provides.”
The relevance and need for initiatives of this sort is affirmed by veteran songwriter, composer and producer Mikie Bennet who said, “As a music practitioner, I welcome any organised programme that engages and exposes young talent to structured skills training and mentorship. Manifesto Jamaica’s Music Mentorship Programme is exactly that sort of initiative.”
A total of 10 songs were written and recorded during the programme, 5 of which are included on the compilation featuring contributions from Dre’zz, Jasmine Barnes, Jay Blacks, Bretless, Tjstarboy, Shenaé Campbell, Emanie, Gee Gee, Raj and Lyrykzz. The mixtape titled ‘Make Change‘ is distributed by Oneness Records and available on all major digital platforms as of September 3.
Alicia Williams, Manager of the Bob Marley Foundation states, “We are pleased about the quality of the work produced by these very creative and talented youth. We support Manifesto Jamaica’s Music Mentorship Programme because its objectives align directly with the foundation’s vision, which is to positively impact the lives through education, youth and cultural development with a focus on enabling sustainable change.” Manifesto Jamaica is a non-profit, educational organisation that leverages arts and culture to help young people become the best version of themselves imaginable. The organisation’s mission is to develop and attract opportunities for young people that inspire creativity, productivity and elevated consciousness, by harnessing the talents of nation builders. Culture and the arts drive Manifesto Jamaica’s initiatives, which are primarily project-based and network-driven. The specific content and curricula vary according to the creative interests of participants and the needs of the communities in focus, but the formula is consistent: Educate, Expose, Empower.
You should support this effort by clicking on this link and buying each tune.