Aspiring rappers and creative artists take centre stage in new urban music project


Vijay Umrao, Station Manager of EAVA FM

An urban music project aimed at diverting young people away from crime and violence is set to get underway in Leicester.

Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews has provided a grant worth £9,910 from his Safety Fund to EAVA FM, Leicester’s multilingual community radio station, for its ‘We Will: Rise, Strive and Succeed’ project.

The initiative aims to provide skills and training in song writing, performance and recording techniques within the genre of Urban Arts for young people aged 16-25 from the Belgrave, Rushey Mead, Spinney Hills, St Matthews and Highfields areas of Leicester.

Sessions will include basic life and social skills and will address the issues young people face every day. They will also help young people attain the skills they need to develop career paths in the urban arts and education sectors.

The Commissioner’s funding will provide 30 two-hour weekly sessions for up to 15 young people at one time.

Mr Matthews said: “It’s really important we communicate and engage with young people in a way that maintains their interest and serves a much wider purpose than simply keeping them safe and out of the criminal justice system.

“The young people taking part in this project will learn techniques and skills that could translate to a career in music or urban arts and will channel their energy into positive activities to help increase their confidence and self-esteem.

“This is a really innovative project and I’m looking forward to seeing the results of this tuition in the future.”

Vijay Umrao, Station Manager of EAVA FM, said: “This project is an amazing way to hear the voice of young people via creative arts. It will also support young people to have discussions around crime and policing within the city.

“We are really looking forward to getting started on Thursday 9th March with our first session and want thank the PCC for giving us the fund to support young people.”   

The project aims to change the social scene for the young people involved and encourage a shift in attitude from competition and rivalry to collaboration, cooperation and mutual respect.

It will also encourage young adults to moderate their behaviour and develop a more positive view and relationship with the police.

The Commissioner’s Safety Fund channels funding into community projects that help reduce the risk of crime and abuse and increase public safety.

The Fund is worth £650k over a two-year period (2021-22 and 2022-23).   Grants are awarded to local organisations, subject to a successful application, where projects support the Commissioner’s key safety priorities.



Posted on Tuesday 7th March 2023
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