MOBO award-winners Krept and Konan were last night (7 February) celebrating the success of a pioneering project to inspire and support Croydon pupils with ambitions in music.
Backed by Croydon Council, the South London rap duo launched their Positive Directions Foundation in Harris Academy South Norwood (the secondary school Krept attended) last November.
The foundation was established by the former Thornton Heath (Konan) and Gipsy Hill (Krept) residents in partnership with the council to offer young people the kind of creative opportunities they wanted when they were growing up.
Pupils from Year 9 and Year 10 were offered an array of workshops in music production, engineering and songwriting, all taught by industry professionals as well as personal friends of Krept and Konan. Kritikal, who is responsible for all of their musical artwork, shared his knowledge in a range of graphic design workshops.
At last night’s closing event for the project, students involved showcased their work to council leaders, parents, carers and other guests. The event was attended by Krept and Konan, who presented the students with certificates with extra gifts for the highest performers during the project.
Konan said: “We always wanted to give something back to the community where we grew up and we are in a position now to help and offer others opportunities that we wished we had – it’s a good thing to do. We felt it was key to get people involved who are actually helping us in the industry right now and break down some doors for these young people – it’s been really good and I hope the young people are happy.”
“This is a fantastic and truly inspirational project. At the heart of this programme is Krept and Konan’s desire to give something back to their community and provide opportunities for young people that they might not otherwise have. We are delighted to support them in this and look forward to seeing this programme in more Croydon schools in the future.”
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council
Cllr Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning, said: “This is the kind of positive opportunity we know young people in Croydon want and we are delighted to be working in partnership with Krept and Konan to deliver it. We have some amazingly talented young people here in Croydon and our Choose Your Future campaign is all about supporting them to make positive choices and follow their dreams.”
Mr Nick Soar, Executive Principal at Harris Academy South Norwood, said: “Our school has a long heritage of providing innovative ways of teaching and of excellence in the creative and performing arts since our founding in 1907. We are proud to have been able to work with two of our alumni who have done so well. Krept and Konan bring a sense of vitality and imagination to their music and our pupils loved working with them. Krept and Konan have really engaged with what our pupils need and the programme has had a lasting effect.”
The Positive Direction Foundation will now aim to expand the programme to other Croydon secondary schools.