Founded by writer and youth worker Ciaran Thapar in 2019, Roadworks is a London-based music education course that uses the medium of rap and drill music to educate and engage with young people.
The course harnesses the creativity of potentially vulnerable youth to improve their employability and provide skills that will allow them to empower future generations. Participants have the opportunity of critically engaging with their favourite music genres in an inclusive environment which treats them with the intellectual respect wider society may not always provide.
The Roadworks site states: “The British education system needs new, innovative ways of engaging with young people in contemporary society. As social and technological trends evolve, our schools are increasingly ill-equipped to deal with the way that cultural production is shaping the way young people think, behave and interact.”
A new documentary ‘Roadworks: Beyond the Road’ directed by Jake Jones shows participants on the pilot course that took place in the summer of last year. Starting off with a series of discussion-based workshops, young people explore academic subjects and career paths focused around drill music and the wider creative industries.
Concluding the short film, participants are taken to Defenders Ent to record a socially conscious and educational drill single raising some of the topics they had discussed in the workshops, before shooting a music video for it with PacmanTV.
All proceeds for the single went back to the artists as well as funding the programme so it can reach out further to more at-risk young people across the UK.
Watch the ‘Roadworks: Beyond the Road’ documentary below:
Watch the music video for the Roadworks single here