Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Navarro Heads After School Program "Beats & Bars", Releases Student Lead Single

Navarro, once known as Scheme, is a emcee who brings a true to Hip Hop style to the music. At this point he's something of a veteran, but don't count him out as a somebody spitting dated raps. He's shown the ability to drop rhymes in both English and Spanish, combining his heritage with the music culture. It goes deeper than just rap for Navarro, he a Hip Hop activist and community leader, demonstrating his leadership through music.

Running a after school music program, for the interested youth, Navarro with a group of students have been working on music for some month now. The program is called "Beat and Bars", which has introduced some of these kids to the process of creating music. Today we get their first release, as young emcees by the name of Bravo, Cee'Jay, Seloner, and Akua drop raps over production from CashmoneyAP. The collaboration is handled by the students on a song called "Who They Wish I Was", centered breaking down the stereotypes of Black and Latino boys.

Bravo, Cee'Jay, Seloner, and Akua are emcees in the make, assuming they're chasing a career in music and we'll hear more from and other kids in the the program soon. This single will be on the upcoming project, also called "Who They Wish I Was", set for June 14, with album art work handled by Chantala Kommanivanh. I had the chance to ask Navarro a few question about the program which you can read below.

- How did you get involve with this program?
I started working at the school for different reasons due to my educational background. A couple months into it one of the students randomly came across my music on iTunes. They didn't believe it was me until they finally confirmed it with me. They were feeling the music and videos and shortly after a lot of them asked me to do an after school music program. I couldn't do it then because it was towards the end of the school year at that point. So I started Beats and Bars in November of 2015.

- I understand its a after school program at Lawndale HS. How can other young kids join Beats & Bars?
This summer it's being ran through After School Matters, so any teen who lives in Chicago can sign up via AfterSchoolMatters.org and just search for Beats and Bars.

- What is your main mission with the program? What do you and this project "Beats & Bars", want to accomplish?
I didn't have a specific purpose when starting the program other than maybe shedding some light on music making to kids interested in it. As time passed though it became a big thing in itself. I started seeing the impact on the students and the conversations we were holding before even making music. The stuff they go through and the challenges they've faced in the past. I realized they were sharing stories they hadn't shared before, and even though some of these guys were friends with one another, they were talking about experiences they hadn't shared amongst each other. The purpose now with the finished project is really to show them that something they created can be put out into the world and they have the power to speak to the masses. They created something out of their imagination and life experiences and now they can share it with their peers and the world. All I wanted to teach them was that the world is bigger than their neighborhood and that they can make it out of here.

- How has it been working with and seeing these young minds develop their own art?
This experience has been a blessing. I'm glad I did everything I've done with my music, even if it wasn't a lot, if it meant to get to this point in my life, I'm most definitely content with that. If anything it's inspired me to be a better artist myself and it feels great to see the progress they've made. There was kids who had never written a lyric, wrote and recorded verses that ended up on the project. The pride they have in their project makes it all worthwhile. Thanks to all the people who helped us out in the making of it.

There also a video for the song shot by Sense Hernandez

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