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For the past few years I’ve kicked off the new year by volunteering at Sikh Youth Australia’s Summer Camp in Narrabeen, just north of Sydney. It’s always a beautiful vibe hanging out with the kids, parents & elders, with many travelling from across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore & Malaysia to be there.
This year I could only spend 1 night at camp. So the evening before heading in, I thought about what I could contribute, reflecting on what I’ve learnt from past camp experiences.
At camp the kids learn so much about who they are & where they come from. They connect with other kids just like them & together they learn about their culture & faith in an encouraging & safe environment. They end up leaving after the week feeling so confident, proud & strong.
But as the year progresses, many of them talk about how that inspiration fades & the challenges they face as being a part of a minority community wear them down.
So I had an idea to try & help with that. I set out to make a song to surprise them. I wanted to create a song they could take home with them after camp. Something they could play & rap along to whenever they needed a bit of a boost.
So in that one night I spent there, in between doing 3 workshops, I collected vocal samples of their voices, asking them to recite the content they came up with during my workshops with them.
I then laid down a simple drum break & played it to Sachleen Kaur (a 17 year old participant at the camp). She did such an amazing job at composing & playing the piano part for the song.
I wrote & recorded the lyrics for the verses inspired by what they shared during our workshops. The 1st verse is for the SINGHs & the 2nd verse is for the KAURs. You’ll hear the kids voices in the intro, choruses and outro.
This was all recorded on a Zoom H5 recorder (thanks Sahil!), an iPhone 6 & my Mac laptop using a Shure SM7B & an old school Mbox.
I hope you enjoy it! Feel free to share it around. Having been in the same shoes as the young kids at camp, I know how challenging it can be at times. This song is a small contribution to try & help them power through.
Dedicated to everybody at SYA Summer Camp 2017 & to all young SINGHs & KAURs around the world.