Ballad, Rock, Soul
A project between detainees at Haslar IRC and participants from Rowner Community Trust, Gosport.
This song arose in the course of generating some musical ideas. One of the RCT participants expressed an interest in the kind of ballads that Beyonce does, and another participant contributed a piano part. The musical idea was taken to Haslar that evening, and a Zimbabwean detainee who had previously lived in Portsmouth for years created the drum track. After some consideration, a different chord structure was suggested, with the acoustic guitar being a key to the development of the song; the piano was retained as a supplementary part. One participant in Haslar grew up in South London, but is now in Haslar after 3 spells in prison. Having reached 30 years old, he is serious about changing his life, and this project has clearly helped him express some of his thoughts and feelings. This song is in essence his story - his rap is autobiographical, reflective and honest.The chorus was developed through group work and conversations at RCT. Each participant came up with lyrics around the themes after listening to the detainee’s contributions. All of the group then sang as a choir, which was later supplemented by participants in Haslar. It reflects the possibility of people in your community or family ‘getting behind you‘ regardless of what you’ve done (like the choir did for the rap), how at best they can ‘sing hope’ into your life, and even if they can’t solve your problems, they can at least walk the journey with you.