We’ve been working with Newtown Youth and Community Centre since 2013, providing regular urban music workshops for young people from the area. Newtown is a diverse community close to the centre of Southampton, and the youth club has faced upheaval over the years. Originally part of the city council youth service, the centre is now run by YMCA and supported by Saints Foundation, a youth charity linked to Southampton Football Club. The centre regularly gets 50+ young people attending the open sessions, and we were keen to explore the potential for providing a regular and consistent music provision utilising the centres music studio.
Through this provision we have seen a passionate group of young people grow to become the city’s first urban youth music collective. M.E.R.C.Y. have recorded at SoCo’s Hightown Studios and performed on the main stage of Common People, a major event in the city run by the people behind Bestival.