Testimonials - interviews with participants, staff and volunteers
DAvid Booth - 15 Participant and volunteer
David has been coming to Sound Lab since he was nine years old. Having gone through some difficult times in his early teens, David has since really engaged with Sound Lab as well as the local YMCA, and has now gone on to study a PDA in youth work, as well as start his own DJ business. We interviewed him back in summer of 2016 about his involvement with Sound Lab.
Favourite DJ? Hardwell or Calvin Harris,
Favourite Song? ‘Perfect Strangers’ by Jonas Blue at the moment
How long have you been coming to Sound Lab? ‘I think I started when I was nice that was when I started DJ-ing.’
Did you have DJ skills when you came here? ‘My dad is a DJ so he would be Djing at parties and things like that, so I kind of picked it up from him. But when I came to Sound Lab I started getting a lot more into it, and I got my own set of decks.’
How long did you come as a student? ‘From when I was about 9 to when I was about 12 probably- about 3 years.’
How long have you been teaching? ‘Since January this year.’
How do you find the difference between learning and teaching? ‘With teaching you get so much more experience, it makes you realise things you had forgotten from when you were taught. It has also taught me to use my own, more effective techniques than those that were shown to me as a student- I am learning to do it my own way. I find the way I am teaching is a lot more effective and is the way I would have wanted to have been taught.’
Would you consider teaching full time? ‘Definitely as a temporary career until I go to University to study to be a mechanic. I want to keep the music going, but it would be harder to make a living out of teaching and youth work. It wouldn’t be as effective. But I would definitely want to keep it going on the side.’
How are you finding Summer Sessions? ‘I think it’s going pretty well, but not a lot of people are into DJing. It’s not very popular and it’s hard to grasp, so that’s why it’s important to find new ways of getting people into it, wanting to get them to come in and learn. I have actually managed to achieve one young person who is actually really right into it.’
What would be your message to young people who like electronic music and might be interested in trying DJing? ‘I would say to come along, give it a go and basically just mess about. I can teach you a few things and see how you like it. If it’s not for you it’s not for you, it’s obviously not for everybody- but I think it’s really worth trying out because it also helps you get into the producing side. As soon as you start mixing you think- I wish I could tune that, and then it goes from there.’
So you’ve been doing quite a lot of gigs? I carried out a charity gig at Braehead and for a dancing show, and awards ceremony and a recent local volunteers night.
Do you think Sound Lab maybe helped you get some of these gigs? Yes I have got a lot through the being a member of the Tollcross YMCA, and if it wasn’t for Sound Lab I wouldn’t have found out about the Tollcross YMCA. If it wasn’t for Sound Lab I wouldn’t be where I am, I wouldn’t have found out about the YMCA and I generally wouldn’t have got involved so much. Thanks to Sound Lab I have kept myself of the streets and in here where I am actually doing something I enjoy and helping the community out. Where would you like to see Sound Lab go? Be a lot bigger than they are, with a lot more live events, a lot more structure in the teaching side. Be able to get young people more noticed. I want to make it further than what I am doing just now, open doors for those we are teaching and also for myself, and that’s where I would like to see the Sound Lab go.’
Keith Jones - 42 Music tutor and youth worker
Keith has been a youth worker and music tutor with Sound Lab for a number of years and most recently was helping coordinate our Summer Sessions programme. Favourite Singer - Prince;
Favourite Song- The Ballad of Dorothy Parker, Never Take The Place of Your Man
How long have you been tutoring at the Sound Lab? About 3 or 4 years, I got made redundant and then they were looking for someone to come in and fill some spaces- and then it went from there.
What do you feel the young people get out of Summer Sessions? For me, it’s when they come in, they get to try things they might not normally get to try. A lot of the tutors are of a really high calibre; these guys have all got serious music backgrounds. I’ve got one claim to fame… a lot of the kids might not know the artists I have played with, or whatever. I’ve played on Belle and Sebastian’s first album. Because of the area and the deprivation of the area, it’s to give people the opportunity to come in and play for free. It’s about £20 for an hour or 45 minutes for a good tutor, so the kids are getting to learn a lot here in a short time. They really get a lot out of it.
What message would you give to anyone who might be interested in volunteering, maybe that have a musical skill? I always have people asking me. A lot of our tutors might have their time tied by existing commitments or whatever, maybe then we need extra help. In the example of David Booth, he came as a young person to learn DJing and now he is teaching! He’s got a lot of experience and he’s only 15. When Sound Lab started back again Paul and Lauren thought he would be great to be an ambassador.
Where would you like to see Sound Lab go? I would like us to be tied to different venues so we can see the kids playing in different live venues. The contacts are out there: the platform is really accessible and we have put on a few gigs via the YM. I think it would be great to get our kids playing a gig at the Kelvingrove Bandstand, that would be a good avenue as well. There’s loads of different stuff- I was playing pool with a guy the other week who is responsible for putting gigs on in Box and I got his details, I asked how we could tie it up, get the young people in- he said he would get back to me. A lot of people in Glasgow seem to know each other so the opportunity is there: I don’t see why not.
Austen - 9 Austen has been coming to our programmes for a while now and is getting amazing at the drums
Favourite Band: Bring Me the Horizon.
How long have you been coming to Sound Lab's Summer Sessions? Since it started, 3 weeks
How did you find out about it? My mum found a leaflet in Tollcross and said I should go.
Do you stay nearby? I live in Cranhill- it’s quite rough there.
How has Summer Sessions been? Really good, I didn’t know how to play anything before I came and now I can play a tune! Would you recommend to a friend? Definitely, my sisters come along too and we all really like it. You should check out my YouTube channel ‘Austen of Doom!’