Harry Shotta and Erb N Dub were first contacted about running Urban Music workshops by Dartford Council when they were fresh out of university over ten years ago. They were playing in a band together at the time and the local arts councillor ‘David Osborne’ had heard about the buzz that was spreading about the act in the local area. He invited Harry and Erb N to run a series of workshops in the lead up to the Dartford Festival in the hope that participants would be able to develop the necessary skills to showcase their talents at a stage at the forthcoming show. So impressed with how the workshops ran and also how Harry and Erb N were able to engage with young people and bring the best out of them David encouraged them to continue running workshops to help young people in the community.
Successfully receiving funding from ‘The Princes Trust’, ‘The Children’s Fund’ and ‘Awards for All’ led to them running a series of workshop programmes and one day taster sessions in the local area. The workshops were so popular with the young participants who attended them that other companies such as the ‘Beat Project’ ‘Pie Factory Music’ and ‘Positive Strides’ all contacted the duo about running workshops and special programmes for them leading to a hectic schedule of three workshops per week. In 2004 Harry and Erb N received the tremendous accolade of winning the national Young Achievers award from the Princes Trust and secured a weekly residency that they hold to the current day at Middle Park Community Centre in South London.
Alongside working with young people their professional careers as musicians also began to flourish. Harry became a regular voice on Radio 1 and 1xtra and established himself as one of the leading Drum N Bass MC’s in the UK winning three prestigious awards. Erb N Dub meanwhile became a Yamaha endorsed artist, releasing a quality batch of Drum N Bass music and remix artists such as DJ Fresh. He also recently built his own recording studio.
Both artists were catapulted into the live circuit, performing all over the world and achieving millions of views on You Tube. This added further credibility to their workshop programmes that they continued to run all over the UK.
Still as passionate and dedicated to running workshops as ever Harry and Erb N continue to offer six-eight week courses or one day sessions where students can learn – Positive Lyric Writing, Music Technology, Music Industry, DJing, Drumming and more.
Over the workshops duration the tutors work extensively with the students towards an end result, a finished music track.
Erb N delivers workshops on music technology (Basic to Advanced) he is a professional DJ & Drummer and can offer insights into percussion, turntable skills, mixing, and scratching. Harry works with the young people to write positive lyrics, guidance on content, flows, recording techniques, breath control and basic performance skills. They also both provide real insights into the business aspects and how to market a product in the ever-changing world of the music industry.
As well as learning core skills in English, Maths and Computers they have seen the positive effects that the workshops can have on individuals as well as entire communities. These programmes provide young people with confidence and in a relaxed atmosphere show them how to work within a team further developing skills in social interaction. The duo have been thrilled to see workshop participants develop into artists in their own right and believe workshops can provide aspiring talent with the attributes needed to achieve success in the music industry.
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