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Banging Beats: Discovering New Talents Through The I.COM Project

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Fostering inclusion through music is what Erasmus+ and Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union’s latest project is all about.

The I.COM Pilot project is an initiative that gives youths the opportunity to express their emotions through Hip-Hop-RAP music, in a safe environment guided by professionally trained and experienced mentors. As a powerful communicative tool, music acts as a medium to help foster integration, inspire creativity and unite multicultural youths who are still emerging community members.

Malta was one of the countries chosen for this pilot project, with Festivals Malta taking the initiative to organise several workshops together with PRISMS.

The outcome? Three original songs that all speak about personal experiences and emotional aspects that these youth have gone through. 

While a lot of work and patience was required to help these youths to open up and express their creativity, surprising results were achieved once the young people felt comfortable enough to fully participate in the workshops. Through these songs, the youth’s voices are finally able to be heard.

Credit: Victor Abela

Credit: Victor Abela

Before the writing process could begin, the youths needed to feel a sense of belonging with their peers. That’s why a series of team building activities were so crucial to the process as a whole. 

Team building events were so crucial to the outcome, as they helped the youths realise that whatever they are feeling is completely valid.

Peaking with the premiere of three original songs, this is what the kids had the opportunity to create. 

Credit: Victor Abela

Credit: Victor Abela

L-Imħabba deals with the importance of love and how humans express it in different ways. This song has collaboration very close to its heart, as both the mentors and the participants come together to speak about a unifying theme. Exploring the theme of love using the Maltese language helps the children feel a greater sense of connection and ownership over their work. 

Għajjejt looks at the other end of the spectrum, dealing with the monotony of everyday life. Speaking from the heart, this emotionally heavy song discusses how repetitive and unfulfilling life can be. They also touch upon the brighter side of the situation, pushing the belief that the hum-drum of a routine can be battled by finding joy in the little things. 

Last but not least, I Love My Friends is an insightful look into the importance of building trusting relationships with your peers. Trusting your friends can be tricky, especially when you’ve faced some scary things in your life. The push and pull between wanting to trust them and closing yourself off is a common feeling, which these young artists have successfully explored. 

Credit: Victor Abela

Credit: Victor Abela

I.COM has amazingly given these young people a creative outlet to deal with their feelings. Providing the participants with a safe space to channel these emotions, helps them become more active members of society. 

These young people felt more comfortable expressing themselves – deeming this project as the ultimate example of the power music holds. 

International fame is waiting for these courageous children, as Festival Malta representatives travelled to Servezza Italy on behalf of the participants to present the project’s outcome. All eight countries which took part in this project went about fostering safe spaces in their own unique ways. Each country faced its own challenges, ranging from COVID-19 restrictions to cultural differences, but everyone managed to make a difference in their societies. 

Tag someone who needs to experience these songs!

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Greta's a creative person who loves to lend a hand to anyone in need. She's also quite quick when it comes to writing ... and talking. You can see what shenanigans she gets up to on her personal instagram @littlegretz or shoot her an email at [email protected]!
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Festivals Malta is a government agency responsible for 8 festivals and 5 national holidays. The purpose of this agency is to preserve the tradition, to encourage and foster a creative environment, as well as to stimulate cultural awareness in people.
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