The Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
By Jesse Yonover, CPIS MA Student
Music has always been an important part of my life and especially over the past few years. Last spring, some friends and I decided that a good way to give back to the youth in our community was through music, acknowledging the positive role it played in our own upbringing. Our desire to give back evolved into the formation of Sound Project in 2012.
Sound Project is a nonprofit organization that strives to involve local youth in Hawaiʻi’s thriving music industry. The project seeks to:
1) Involve students in the process of creating music on a professional level with guidance from established artists, producers, and experts.
2) Educate students on aspects of the music industry such as production and business through hands-on experiences.
3) Encourage creativity and innovation through educational outreach, competitions, and hands-on learning.
4) Elevate aspirations of students to share their music and make careers in the music industry, and promote socially and culturally constructive uses of music.
5) Connect reputable Island artists, producers, and studios with up-and-coming musical talent to nurture and mentor young musicians, helping pass along musical ingenuity to future generations.
Our vision is simple—to inspire Hawaiʻi’s youth to play and create original music, playing a pro-active role in their musical endeavors to instill exceptional musicianship in the next generation.
During the spring 2013 semester, I was able to develop the founding concepts as part of my service-learning project. Despite complications related to registering the program as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization in the State of Hawaiʻi, we were able to launch the program on the Internet in collaboration with the reggae blog (rudeboyreggae.com) I co-founded in 2010. The site gets close to 10,000 hits per month from over 30 countries and there is a dedicated page on the blog to inform followers about Sound Project. The next goals are to release previously recorded music for Sound Project with proceeds helping us get the operation off the ground and hold the first competition for high school students in the fall of 2013. For more information, see http://www.rudeboyreggae.com/p/clothing.html.