Thanks to the continued generous support of The Joe Strummer Foundation we have opened a second smaller studio for mixing and logic training which runs alongside the main studio. Both studios are free to street and disadvantaged people. JSF provided computers and logic software, musical instruments, soundproofing and a producer- James Adams– to come out to Sierra Leone and train our engineers- John and Gibo. The streets of Salone are overflowing with musical talent but, until now, they have not been able to record their music. So far the studio has recorded 1000 tracks and ten albums.
The studio engineers are Gibrilla Kamara, aka GIBO, and John Nashville Kalokoh who were trained by James Adams. We use various producers- Mr Wise did a lot of the original tracks and Kaikai is currently our main producer with guest producers from the UK. Hannah Mcinerny was recently out training young people in logic plug-ins and keyboards.
We receive endless reports from artists of how having a recording of their work has changed their life. Black Street Family is a large, and once feared, street gang comprising many musicians. We recorded an album for them which was launched on 12.12.12 and now they say people are no longer afraid of them but will come and sit with them and even respect their talent. This has had the knock on effect of turning Black Street members away from violence and crime. “We have a different reputation now and we have to live up to that.” Their second album “Who’s the Street” was launched on the 12th April 2014 in Freetown and their third album “Family Affairs” will be launched 4th March 2016.
Komba had his hand blown off when he was five years old. His mother could not look after him so he left his village and headed for Freetown where he lived on the streets. Now 18 years old he heard about WAYout and wandered into the studio one day. A shy young man always trying to hide his missing hand. He recorded two tracks including “Diamond Briefcase” and with CD in hand he went home to Kono to see his mother for the first time. Being able to show her he was capable of doing something gave him the courage to go home. His track “Diamond Briefcase” won a local hip hop competition. He is now recording an album. There are many similar stories to Komba’s. Holding something in your hand that you created inspires confidence and a sense of self worth and generates respect in others.
‘Working with you all these years has been life changing to our youths as most of them can earn their living and even pass knowledge to others who need it’. Jane Peters iEARN
Live music had all but died out in Sierra Leone during the conflict and, with it, the ability to record live sounds. WAYout is one of few studios able to record drums, keyboards or guitars and we recently completed an album for Jahman.
Salia Koroma walked into the studio one day, with his battered old accordion. Keys were broken or stuck but he still managed to make music with it but it was very limited. Romano Viazzani, a brilliant accordionist from the UK, donated a new accordion and now Salia can extend his range and earn a living playing.