Case Study : Kaydon
"When I write music mentally it helps me, like spiritually mentally emotionally it helps me"
Kaydon has struggled academically throughout secondary school and in his local town was known as a gang leader. Although he always had an interest in rap music it wasn’t until he was about 13 that he started to realise writing lyrics were giving him a way to work though some of his feelings.
Kaydon had a complicated home life and experienced some trauma in his early years. Since he was 9 years old he liked to rap and by the age of 11 was starting to write some lyrics down. Kaydon has struggled academically throughout secondary school and in his local town was known as a gang leader. Although he always had an interest in rap music it wasn’t until he was about 13 that he started to realise writing lyrics were giving him a way to work though some of his feelings.
Kaydon got involved with the Music Up! project after a friend rang him telling him their mobile studio was parked up on the local estate. He came to the van and was invited in by the Sound Communities team and then started coming to the Sound Communities Studio in Paignton every Friday night for their open access sessions. He started attending regularly bringing lyrics he had written in the week with him. During the sessions he learnt how to record his raps and listen to others perform, giving feedback and encouragement. He participated in producing a joint track for the record label developed as part of the project, working in a team with other young people. His self-esteem and confidence were boosted through being supported creatively and recognised for the talents he had.
Working with the Sound Communities team and being supported with his music making has encouraged Kaydon to share his experiences. Many young people in the local area who know his reputation as a gang leader are now able to see him in a different way. They hear his voice and listen to his story. In addition, he can see the power of communication and has learnt how to use it more effectively.
"When I write music mentally it helps me, like spiritually mentally emotionally it helps me, it’s like getting my emotions out. I couldn't go to a counsellor and say oh I feel like this, or I feel like that, cos I just get angry and upset, music is the way I get my emotions out."
This project has helped Kaydon grow his creative skills and increase his confidence. Because he has developed the ability to produce the music he writes he can continue to use this powerful tool as a means of self-expression, supporting his well-being and resilience in the future.