14 May 2017

Taking hip hop to the classroom

From Standing Room Only, 1:50 pm on 14 May 2017
Fiso Siloata, also known as Flowz, has been up and down the country helping foster emerging talent amongst children.

Fiso Siloata, also known as Flowz, has been up and down the country helping foster emerging talent amongst children. Photo: Supplied / Fiso Siloata

A Wellington rapper is bringing 20 years of experience into the classrooms of low decile schools.

Fiso Siloata, also known as Flowz, has been up and down the country helping foster emerging talent amongst children.

And after four years of teaching rap at Whitireia, he's heading back to his roots in Wellington's Eastern suburbs to help a group of local kids. 

Flowz came on the scene as part of the Footsouljahs back in 1994.

Fiso Siloata aka Flowz.

Fiso Siloata aka Flowz. Photo: Supplied

He says there’s a lot of creative talent in Wellington schools, but limited access to resources and concerts.

Flowz has been working with students in Wellington’s Strathmore and Seatoun suburbs, where he has been teaching them about hip hop and how to share their musical talents with their local community.

“A lot of the kids they leave the community when they hit teenage life and they leave and never come back, and I’ve kind of worked it out that music is a great way to bring it back into the community.”

He says a lot of the more controversial content which features in hip hop overseas is less prevalent in New Zealand as the issues and landscape here are different.

A typical session involves teaching students how to use studio software, how to use mixing equipment and microphones.

“I take a song that has been written by a New Zealand artist and we teach the kids the song… that song is a base for the kids to write their own song.

“The outcome for the workshop is the kids write their own song, they perform their song to the community and we have certificates prizes and trophies at the end of the eight week workshop.”

The programmes will eventually be rolled out at various schools across Wellington’s eastern suburbs, he says.

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