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Taking OffTaking Off

A networked approach to promoting meaningful musical pathways for young Londoners facing challenging circumstances.

Young Researcher Case Study - Shakira


“John is a 25 year old young man who has spent most of the last four years in psychiatric hospital. He recently attended a Raw Sounds programme and was able to stand on stage in front of a live audience in a Brixton pub and rap. This is what he says about Raw Sounds:

‘I feel more confident, I enjoy the sessions; they have a good vibe. It helps me express myself; you get the beat/the mood – it makes you feel better and happier.’ 

For John’s progression route I chose to use art to represent it because I feel that expression is something that is really important for people experiencing mental health and in his case Raw Sounds gave him the space to do that. The first picture, I drew with an image of the sadness and confusion that lots of people with mental health feel. It can be particularly hard and lonely when you don’t have somewhere that you can speak out and distract yourself. When I spoke to other Raw Sounds participants it seemed to be a common theme that before starting they felt withdrawn from things and in a dark place. However in the second picture I created a contrast to reflect positive change. I used bright colours and letters to reflect the ‘confidence’, ‘happiness’ and good vibes that John felt through attending the sessions.”


“I’m 20 years old and I found out about Raw Sounds through a charity called Voice Collective. I started attending sessions at Raw Sounds when I had just turned 18 and recently been discharged from hospital. This particular time was difficult because I felt like I had been lost in the transition to adults services and didn’t have anyone to talk to or anywhere that I could go and express myself. Raw Sounds gave me that safe, creative space to develop my musical skills and it became more about the music rather than symptoms or diagnosis. I have come extremely far since then, I’m much more confident and with the help of things like artist development and performance opportunities I now study music at BIMM London (The British and Irish Modern Music Institute). To represent my progression route I chose to write a song.”


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Definition of Indices of Multiple Deprivation

The Indices of Deprivation 2015 provide a set of relative measures of deprivation for small areas (Lower-layer Super Output Areas) across England, based on seven different domains of deprivation:

For more information see: - 2015 Statistical Release (PDF 1.5MB)