Hats off and up in the air for Knucklehead's Ben Gregor and the launch of his latest music video for DRS, the international youth charity founded by Ben. We love it. And its only just the beginning...
Ben set up DRS to be a creative outlet for underprivileged kids all over the world, introducing them to music production, film making and dance. Inspired by tutoring at Kid's Company after making his kid's dance feature All Stars in 2012 he got thinking about taking the experience to areas where kids are struggling on a day-to-day basis, to work with them on a cultural and emotional level and open up doors of opportunity. He joined forces with youth worker Geoffrey Okol and they haven't looked back.
So far DRS has made music videos on London, Toronto and South Africa, teaming up with well known charities Kids Company, Sketch and the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation Youth Centre.
Check it out here: www.yesdrs.com/
What does DRS mean? That depends who you ask. It's up to the kids. In South Africa it is The Democratic Republic of Swag. In London it's the Dead Rappers Society and in Toronto they're Doing Real Stuff. In all its guises, DRS has got kids from struggling communities expressing themselves through film, music, singing, rapping and dance.
Loads of favours on time and skills and equipment have made the scheme possible. Ben has found the whole process refreshing and amongst the most satisfying work he has done: "To go back to the bottom and be producing music and making videos for free has been a slap in the face I really needed to be honest. Everyone has been super generous with their time and their energy, especially all the crew who have donated their time, the equipment houses who have handed over gear, and The Mill who have helped with the back end. People have just been amazing"
Next up is The Dad Project, an initiative where kids portray fatherhood from their perspective. Oh, and there's a feature film in development too. Mr Gregor, we salute you.