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ANNOUNCING: REVIVAL – Emerging Artists free, live stream gig

Posted on: April 29th, 2021 by Steph Dickinson No Comments

Music is coming back!

Saturday 29 May, 7pm
Live on YouTube | Instagram | Facebook
Hosted by Tom Thumb Theatre Margate

See, hear, experience Kent’s next generation of music makers, all from the comfort of your own home. Shakedown post-lockdown with a night of new music. From the anti-establishment and protests roots of folk and punk, to the sweet sounds and hard-hitting lyrics of Indie and rapping wordsplay, Revival showcases multiple genres from multiple artists for pure escapism and revelry.

Watch two 15-minute sets performed by Mollie Clarke and Zico, followed by three 25 minute sets from Malpractice, Rats Nest, and Connor Beerling, as well as each act interviewed in between sets. Not only can you hear Kent’s best and upcoming Emerging Artists perform, you’ll hear them talk about their creative passion and what drives them to do what they do best – make music.

This event gives these incredible artists a platform to express their talent in their own way with the added bonus of being able to keep their performance content for their own use – something Pie is proud to facilitate. But most importantly, the Revival gig gives you the opportunity to enjoy a host of different types of music, wherever you are, safely, as we all get through these trying times. With Revival, music is finally coming back!

Thanks to our hosts Tom Thumb Theatre – an intimate music venue that packs a massive punch.

Emerging Artists is a year-long programme of career, musical and personal development for young musicians aged 16-25, funded in association with Youth Music.

Being a part of Sirens Play at Home

Posted on: April 27th, 2021 by Steph Dickinson No Comments

For the 2021 POW! Thanet festival, our Sirens group performed an incredible live online gig, ‘Play at Home’ to audiences across the globe, in celebration of International Women’s Day. Here, group member Zoe tells us about the experience…

The Sirens event for POW! was the first project that we were involved in as part of Pie’s new programme, funded by Youth Music. As a group, we all learnt a lot about not only performing in an event, but what goes on behind the scenes, and how much time and focus can go into something like that.

We learnt about the people taking part and all the responsibilities that come with every role, with each member helping out. The event was also a way of demonstrating our talents and ambitions, and after such a challenging year it was a nice way to get a taste of performing again. Covid-19 has affected a lot of things in the past year, and sadly the event was one of them. However, as a team, we managed to overcome the obstacle of not being able to perform live in an outside venue, by performing from our homes via zoom, using our ‘screens as a stage’. This taught us some new lessons and experiences, while still keeping that performance atmosphere and excitement.

We had the exciting opportunity to be invited to perform as part of the POW! Festival, in which the theme was ‘Power in Protest’. That theme really drove our group and sparked a lot of creation, helping us to decide what we believe protest to be. We all thought up different ideas and images of what we see when we think of protest, helping us with the choice of our songs and background designs.

The people who organised the event were Demi, Annabel, Ellie, Tami, Betsy, Harmony, Zoe, Daisy Beau (our fabulous mentor), Rachel (Pie) and Chevonne (Pie), with Harmony, Ellie, Tami and Zoe performing, Daisy Beau gave a guest performance and Betsy was our fabulous compere.

Doing an online event brought all sorts of advantages and disadvantages. However, it really made us think outside the box. While the circumstances were not what we originally anticipated, it was fun to think of new ways to enjoy and impress the viewers at home. It also gave us a chance to be watched by a larger audience, as there were viewers from around the world who could watch the event from their house!

The atmosphere was amazing on the night of the event. Even though we couldn’t see the audience in front of us, the nerves and adrenaline were still running high. One of the most enjoyable things about the event was seeing how far everyone had come, and that really showed in their chosen pieces.

It was such an honour to be a part of POW! this year and beyond, singing our songs and making our backgrounds, we got to meet some amazingly talented people who were working on producing the event and lining everything up. We also met the people in charge of all the sound and where that sound comes from. Even though it was a virtual event, it reflected a lot on what an in-person event would involve. It was so great to be able to enjoy performing despite the circumstances and the curveballs we were thrown this year. If anything, it taught us all a good lesson in adapting to change and being resilient with carrying on.

– Zoe

Soundcheck Fundraiser

Posted on: October 8th, 2020 by Steph Dickinson No Comments

Help us raise funds to support young minds

2020 has hit our young people hard. It’s one of the most challenging years ever, with no sign of letting up. So we’re taking urgent action to help plug the gap in mental health support for them, by raising vital funds to provide 11 – 18 year olds in East Kent free counselling.

We’re launching Soundcheck – our fundraiser to help level the score for young minds.

The Need

Young people are facing the biggest mental health challenge of their lives with access to socialising, support networks, education and employment cut-off and minimised due to lockdown, social distancing and further social restrictions as COVID-19 continues to impact society, with no let up in sight. In a recent survey, Young Minds reported that 80% of young people in the UK agreed that the pandemic had made their mental health worse, with 87% stating that they felt lonely or isolated and 31% saying they were no longer able to access support but needed it.

In the last six months, we have experienced first-hand an upsurge in the number of young people we work with reporting issues with their mental health, evidenced by an increase of 200% in referrals for pastoral support during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Which is why we are acting urgently to ensure that no young person in Thanet, Dover and their surrounding districts, which has some of the most deprived wards in the country, is left behind.

The Idea

Working with talented local artists Paul Camo and Rob Flowers, we have created three exclusive, limited edition T-shirts in a bid to simultaneously raise vital donations and awareness, coinciding with World Mental Health Awareness Day (10 October) and Black History Month. 

Aiming to raise at least £5,000, donations and all profits from the sale of the T shirts will go towards providing:

1.Professional counselling for 11 – 18 year olds associated with the charity, equivalent to giving 15 young people access to six sessions with a qualified counsellor who specialises in treating adolescents, and 35 young people access to a one-off session. Counselling services will encompass those who are navigating their cultural heritage and who have been victims of racism.

2.Creative intervention sessions that give 8 – 18 year olds a unique opportunity to work with a creative practitioner such as a musician or artist, spending studio time together and creating music, which will help towards alleviating some of their symptoms as well as develop employable skills.

Paul Camo’s slogan tee references protest T shirts and placards, taking cues from the past to inspire action now as the fight for racial justice continues. The font is a unique typeface inspired by signs from a 1963 protest march, adapted from an old badge which states ‘STOP RACIST ATTACKS’.

Rob Flowers has created a vibrant visual expression of the words and objects Pie Factory’s young people use to define the charity and its work. 

The Ask 

Now, we are calling on you, our community to ensure that every young mind matters by donating to the fundraiser. Every donation will help us bridge the gap in services in East Kent, enabling young people to improve their mental wellbeing and helping to give them a greater chance to thrive in this most challenging of times. 

Activate your support > buy a T-shirt for £20 before 24 November > 

Please help spread the word to help us raise the volume for young people.

Thank you!

Everyday Racism

Posted on: July 22nd, 2020 by Zoe Carassik-Lord No Comments

In the wake of the murder of George Floyd it feels like there is a turning of the tide with people waking up to the realities of racism BUT there is still so much work to be done.We had the honour of chatting to Natalie from @everydayracism_ about how you as young people can engage in this conversation and make a difference. Natalie used to attend Pie as a young person and it wasn’t long before she became one of our Trustees (the youngest trustee in the UK at the time), since then Natalie has worked on various projects with us and has remained a friend. She speaks honestly and powerfully about her own journey and what young people can do to start to act for positive, lasting change.

You can watch the full conversation here:

Below are all of the resources that are mentioned in the video:

Instagram Accounts:

Mental Health

Great books for young people: 
STAMPED – Jason Reynalds & Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
Say her name – Zetta Elliot 

Adult books to educate – Still good to read: 
White fragility – Robin DiAngelo 
Me and my White Supremacy – Layla F Saad
Why I am no longer talking to white people about race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
Natives – Akala

Fictional books by BAME authors:
The only back girls in town – Brandy Colbert  
Black Brother – Jewell Parker Rhodes 
Slay – Brittany Morris

Piece of the Pie – Oren

Posted on: June 16th, 2020 by Steph Dickinson No Comments

Oren, 21

“I joined Pie Factory Music when I was 10. I remember when I was very young that I’d always loved being around music. My nan bought me a practice electric guitar when I was around 4, which was a great excuse to learn how to play it. 

Secondary School didn’t offer any opportunities to develop my guitar skills and I spent a lot of time being a ‘bedroom guitarist’. I knew that I had an interest in music and wanted to play with others, so I joined Pie Factory Music. I received fantastic tuition, and I couldn’t believe that it was free. Not everyone can afford private music lessons.

The staff really brought me out of my shell and made me realise that I had a real talent for music. And that I had to harness it, show it off and be proud of my skills. It’s a theme throughout the charity – they genuinely believe in you. 

After a few years I started volunteering at Pie Factory Music. I started helping out with their band factory workshop, I used my experience to help young people. I became more confident teaching the sessions and eventually I lead the workshops. After some time, I moved to supporting the youth club. My role was to chat to the young people, ask how they’re doing and try to engage with them. I was a lot younger than the other volunteers and staff, and I felt that they could relate to me a bit differently. 

With the support of Sam Evans who taught me how to confidently and effective lead workshops, I joined the charity as a member of staff. A lot of things happened during this period, I developed myself as a person, I grew in confidence and it was truly inspiring to see young people progress in the sessions. I motivate and encourage them, give them the space to be creative and I’m immensely proud when they achieve what they set out too. 

When I applied to the University of Southampton to study music, I included my experience at Pie Factory Music. The charity had such a huge impact on my life, shaped my personality and character that I couldn’t imagine not including it. 

A lot of peers on my course have never had the experience of being in a studio, learning how to confidently perform or set up a stage. I had already harnessed those skills at Pie Factory Music though – it was an invaluable experience. 

When I graduate I want to do a lot more with Pie Factory Music. The charity has grown significantly since I joined, there’s always different sessions on offer and new projects to get involved in. It’s been great to see and be part of their transition and growth. They’ve got an excellent reputation in the area. 

Pie Factory Music has influenced my life so much, it’s had an impact on my character and confidence. It’s given me focus and shaped where I want to be. Who would’ve known that when I joined I would have been exposed to so many opportunities and eventually start working for them. I never knew how much I would love teaching young people about music. I want that to always be part of my life and I know that I’ll continue to work with young people in the charity sector. There’s no better feeling than watching them grow in confidence and harness their talents.”

When you read stories like Oren’s you start to realise that transformative work takes time and that steady, consistent, support is important and worthwhile. If you would like to donate towards our ongoing work to empower and inspire young people CLICK HERE

To read Chloe’s story CLICK HERE

Piece of the Pie – Chloe

Posted on: June 10th, 2020 by Steph Dickinson No Comments

Chloe, 23

“I joined Pie Factory Music at 12. It was a friend’s mum that heard me sing who encouraged me to attend the vocal sessions she led at the charity. I attended that night and although I was terrified of singing in front of people, the staff were so welcoming and friendly that I soon performed my first solo performance.

I’ve always been really into music and singing. It was my grandma that taught me how to play the piano and by the time I joined the charity, I had taught myself the guitar.

During the vocal workshops I helped others with their singing so when one of the instructors left I replaced them. I was then asked to lead other workshops, like their recording sessions on a Monday evening. I was teaching young people how to use the recording studio, create their own songs and learn the language of music. It’s really empowering to share your knowledge and experience with other people, watch their confidence grow and see their development.

I collaborated with rappers from the charity to sing in their songs, and one of them was selected for BBC Radio 1Xtra as their hottest track which meant that the song was going to be played all week across the national radio station. I was only 15 at the time.

My experience at Pie Factory Music helped me to secure a place at the British and Irish Institute of Modern Music in Brighton. I was going to lectures about learning to perform, recording your own music and how to organise gigs but I had already learnt all of this at the charity. Going to university was building on the knowledge and experience of what I gained at Pie Factory Music. It was a huge boost to my confidence, and my peers were astonished at how much I already knew about music. 

The skills I learnt at Pie Factory Music have given me a solid foundation for a career in music. Singing and playing instruments aren’t now just a hobby but something to focus on. It helped shape who I am today and my career as a singing teacher. It opened up a world of opportunities, different music styles and gave me the freedom to express who I am through my songs.”

To read Billy’s story click here