Meet the young Dumbarton DJs turning the tables on the non-believers

Matthew, Amy, Maurven and Stephen from SKapade

Performing in front of an adoring crowd of thousands is something that many of us fantasise about when singing in the shower – but thanks to National Lottery funded SKapade, this is something Amy and Maurven, 16, have already scratched off their bucket list. Digital Communications officer, Aymie Black, recently visited SKapade Studios in Dumbarton to hear how the project has helped young people find their potential.

SKapade Inspirational Development Solution CIC in Dumbarton were awarded £6,195 of National Lottery Awards for All funding to deliver creative digital workshops for young people, which include DJing, social media and video editing. Now as someone whose personal music taste consists of S Club 7 and Robbie Williams, I was excited to expand my knowledge by seeing the dynamic project in action and hear from the young people involved with the DJ workshops.

I was first greeted by Stephen Kirkwood, founder of SKapade Studios. He told me that when he was younger, he never had anyone to teach him how to DJ. After years of mastering the art himself, he created the DJ workshops to help young people learn new skills and bring them together through their love of music.

Amy McCall and Maurven Quinn, 16, doing a set

Amy McCall and Maurven Quinn, who are both 16, told me how SKapade has opened a whole new world to them. The best friends already had musical skills through playing for their school and town orchestras, but they decided to try something a bit different by attending the SKapade DJ workshops. Since then, Amy and Maurven have phenomenally went on to play in front of a crowd of 10,000 people at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow!

Amy told me:

“People were amazed. Our friends were asking us lots of questions”.

“I remember the day after people were congratulating me and saying that it inspires them to go for something they want to do in their life”, added Maurven.

The project has helped bring dream opportunities to young people whilst helping them socialise and develop their music technology skills. However, it’s clear from my chat with these young people that one of the most impactful benefits of the project is how it inspires young people to find the confidence to pursue what they want to in life.

Matthew Roberts, 14, in the studio

Fourteen-year-old Matthew Roberts joined SKapade when was just 11 years old. Matthew told me that he always had a passion for music and desperately wanted to learn how to DJ – which he went on to do, thanks to the National Lottery funded project.

There’s a clear theme of supremely talented youngsters here, as Matthew is currently being booked to DJ at various events like Parties and Discos in his free time. Matthew lit up as he spoke about how much he loved going to SKapade.

“Anytime I’m having a bad day and I know I’m going to SKapade I get really excited!”

Matthew’s mum Catherine told me:

“Growing up, he didn’t want to play football or sports and music was his thing. When he comes here his confidence goes through the roof, I was crying because I couldn’t believe he found his thing and was so happy. He knew he was good and wasn’t worried about what other people would say.”

Matthew working in the studio

We all began to chat about how scary it can be chasing your dream and how you may be faced with negativity from others who don’t understand. Maurven said something that really struck a chord with me…

“Some people just want to nip at you because they’re jealous sometimes – I just don’t let it bother me. I know if I’m going to push myself to get there then I’m going to get there, and I know they’re going to see me on TV one day and I’m going to be doing the thing that I want.”

Inspiring advice for anyone who has ever had a dream.

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