From the Congo to Panama, Beat Making Labs Creates Sustainable Music Studios in Unlikely Places

When most folks think of Africa, they automatically think of famine, disease, and war. But for those who understand how media works, knows that the Africa  most people think of is only one side of the vastly diverse continent.

It started as an experiment: what happens when you equip a vibrant youth community with the resources to express themselves through hip hop and electronic music? Last summer I traveled to Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo to find out and the results were more beautiful than I could have imagined.

In the heart of what National Geographic last year called “the world’s most dangerous city,” I spent two weeks crafting beats and songs with an amazing group of kids. Their lyrics ranged from frustrations with unpaved roads and access to water, to love songs, to stories of resiliency in the face of natural disaster.

What the Beat Making Lab is doing is quite remarkable. It’s time to share the other side of Africa.

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