2016 Grantee Profile: Beats 2 Bars

The project of Beats2Bars, led by Nathan Baya in partnership with PEACH, provides community youth artists from the area of Jane and Finch with the tools to compose their own instrumental tracks. The program assists aspiring young songwriters and artists living with low socio-economic status to develop their talent and ultimately own their music. They believe that making music has a transformative power in helping youth re-imagine their futures.

The mission of Beats2Bars is to empower the artists, who own 100% of the music they make, to explore the option of establishing their own music production business. The idea that youth need an outlet for expression was the most important reason for creating this program, with the help from ArtReach. Nathan says, “There are so many talented youth who are going through many emotions and have nowhere to express themselves except through music.”

Nathan says that the idea for Beats2Bars came from other community beat-making programs that he participated in when he was younger. “Being an artist myself, the biggest struggle is always finding instrumentals, so I thought it was best to collaborate with PEACH to create a program that gives access to youth to create beats and just further their knowledge on beat making.”

After discussing ideas with mentors, they agreed that funding was the next step to creating this idea- they applied to ArtReach and were awarded $5000 to develop their program. This was the first program that Nathan had applied to with ArtReach and it allowed him to have the funding available to run the program, as well as to provide meals and honoraria for the participants. PEACH (Promoting Education and Community Health) partnered with them and gave the group administrative support, and in-kind space and equipment.

Youth loved the program and were very eager to create and learn how to better their skills. Nathan says, “Participants have been empowered since [the program and] they are now able to own their music. We hope to be able to run the program again!”

Nathan and Beats2Bars will be celebrating their graduation/ album release where the graduates of the program will release their own album on February 19, 2017 at 127 Eddystone Ave. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased online here or at the door for $10. You can find more information on this event at www.peachyouth.org

Author: Ally Nohos