NZ charity Bread Foundation has opened a 24/7 music studio in West Auckland aimed to help underprivileged kids who wouldn’t normally be able to obtain access to such an opportunity.
“What we’ve developed is really something quite special,” charity founder and rapper Mustafa Sheikh (otherwise known as Lil Mussie) told Stuff.co.nz.
“We’re offering a closed, private space for kids where they can dedicate their time to something productive.”
While the recording studio is obviously intended for aspiring musicians, Sheikh believes that the skills gained in the recording studio are similar to those needed in the business world.
“The fundamentals of those roles are exactly the same as creating a new business. One creates a brand, which involves aspects like a logo and a story, before creating a product – which in this case is a song or instrumental. Then they have to market that product out to the people.
“We are teaching kids life skills with music as the medium.”
Sheikh posted some photos of the studio to his Instagram and captioned the post, “ built a recording studio for disadvantaged youth to use free 24/7. We don’t get paid for doing this stuff. We do it to look after the next generation. #nz #music”
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The studio has been set up in an existing housing unit in Te Atatū, West Auckland. Bread Studio collaborated with William Brown, who runs youth homes in New Zealand, to secure the space.
“I’m super excited with what they’ve set up and the value this brings to the kids we deal with,” Brown said.
“It is so important, especially with mental well-being, as it creates a special space for these kids to detach from the rest of the world. Making music allows them to express their experiences in life, which is an important therapeutic activity.”
When Sheikh isn’t busy being a philanthropist, he also raps under the name of Lil Mussie and has had great success in his career. The rapper has worked alongside Kid Cudi collaborator Charles Worth and celebrated producer Anthony Kilhoffer (Kanye West, Rick Ross).
Sheikh plans to use his high profile connections to help boost the profile of his new charity music studio.
“This opens the door for me to ask my celebrity mates or successful people in the music industry that I know around the world to teach these kids,” he said.
“I have a few Zoom lessons organised from some amazing people around the world, just to teach the kids how to make a beat or how to rap over a beat.”
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