Global Beats: Producing Hip-Hop in a Blackout Global Beats: Producing Hip-Hop in a Blackout
Culture

Global Beats: Producing Hip-Hop in a Blackout

by Pierce Freelon

May 10, 2013

It's crazy how something unexpected can turn into an opportunity to innovate and be creative. I was in Panama during the festival del los Diablos y Congos with producer Apple Juice Kid and filmmaker Saleem Reshamwala, when we met an amazing vocalist on the street named Yomira John. Somehow, we convinced her to join us in our Beat Making Lab studio, which is housed at a free, community music-school in the heart of the city. We were in the middle of recording a song with Yomira, when a massive blackout knocked out over half of Portobelo—presumably the result of a power-drain from the day's festivities.

We probably never would have thought to intentionally record in the dark, but it made all the difference. Do you have any stories about improvising your way out of a sticky situation?

Beat Making Lab builds studios in cultural centers around the world and trains youth musicians in the art of beat making. This post is part of a weekly series on GOOD—follow our adventures with new episodes here every Wednesday.

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Global Beats: Producing Hip-Hop in a Blackout