AudioActive x Charanga: Disseminating Innovation Nationally

We’ve teamed up with Charanga and their award winning ‘VIP Studio’; a cloud-based resource enabling users to produce and record music online without the need for expensive software or kit.


“VIP is a sick resource to use, especially in the situation we’re in. A young person I’ve been working with, who is obsessed with making music, had been using his cousin’s laptop at home for its music software, but it was taken back. Luckily, he had another computer from his school and was able to use VIP to make beats and record vocals. This completely changed his mindset and he was able to carry on making music.”

AudioActive Music Leader, Sam Maryon

“P is a 16 year-old young man with autism, ADHD. Pre-Covid, he’d been working with me doing a combination of tuition, songwriting and music production. The lockdown has had a massive impact on P, with no music equipment in his care home, he was unable to continue pursuing his passion. With access to VIP and its video tutorials, and our regular online check-ins, he is now happily producing music again.”

AudioActive Music Leader, Jack Kingslake


VIP Studio was previously mostly used in school settings but through an emerging relationship with Youth Music, Charanga will be spotlighting AudioActive’s use of VIP to support a network of similar organisations across the country to continue working with young people during lockdown.


Click here for Jack Kingslake’s blog post on the Youth Music network.

Click here for more on VIP Studio from Max Wheeler, AudioActive Music Leader and author and Programme Director of the VIP Studio Sessions online learning platform for Charanga.


Contact to find out if you are eligible to receive a free subscription to VIP Studio through AudioActive


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Room to Rant

Room to Rant is a space for young men to ‘get stuff off their chest’.

Members are encouraged to be themselves, talking and exploring their struggles and life experiences through spoken word, rap and hip hop. No previous rapping experience is neccesary at these relaxed drop-ins, where participants build on lyric-writing and improvisation skills. The sessions are facilitated by two highly-experienced and accomplished rappers who are well respected in the Brighton hip hop and music scene.

Anyone aged 16-25 who identifies as male or non-binary is welcome to attend Room To Rant. And, as of 2020, Room to Rant is expanding beyond Brighton, following some great feedback from the young people who have attended. 

‘It helped me manage my emotions better in the group because I could talk about things and people understand, no one judged me.’

“Before I never used to spit bars by myself but, now I write a bit of poetry. It helps me sort my story out and helps me make sense of things.”


Age: 16-25


All of our session venues have been carefully risk assessed. We are socially distancing, plus using masks and hand gel. If you’ve signed up for a session that can’t take place in person because of Covid, we’ll send you information so that you can meet us for a session online if you’d like to. 


Wednesday evenings 6.30pm – 9.00pm @ Bottega Rooms, Melbourne St, Brighton BN2 3LH


Tuesday evenings 6.00pm – 8.30pm @ Ridiculously Cool Music Studios, Unit 4b, 15 Southcourt Rd, Worthing BN14 7DF


We’re starting out in two different Crawley locations to see which most young men prefer.  

Thursday evenings 6.30pm – 9pm @ YAC space attached to Crawley Foyer YMCA, Horsham Rd, Crawley RH11 7AQ

Saturday afternoons 2.00pm – 4.30pm @ Bewbush Youth Centre, Dorsten Square, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 8XW

How to get involved

Young People can sign-up by filling our online form here.

Professionals working with Young People, please download this referral form and return it to

For more information, please contact our Room to Rant Coordinator

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“I’m proud to be supporting AudioActive’s Emerge programme. This project has been a long time in the making and I think the timing is perfect for these two exciting artists. Phonetic and Mei were already on my radar through working with AudioActive so I’m really looking forward to seeing what they are both capable of with this extra support. Watch this space…” Rag’n’Bone Man, (AudioActive Patron)

Launched in November 2018, AudioActive’s Emerge initiative promises two successful applicants a full year of ongoing support, guidance and funding that would deliver the last push needed for them to reach the next level in their careers.
Emerge targeted a specific breed of artists; the restless, ambitious type, who had shown they’d fully embraced whatever tools were available to them, however modest; irrepressible talents that had the ability to focus firm on their visions, however far off; self-starters with a passion and desire that – for them – means success is inevitable however long it takes. In short, artists with the belief that music really is an option…
With such an offer came a swathe of applicants that, once narrowed to a shortlist of 10, performed at Brighton’s Bottega Rooms in front of a panel of music industry professionals.


“The Emerge showcase was the first time I’d seen any of the talent coming through AudioActive and I was really impressed,” said Global Music marketing consultant Kate Rock. “From singers to rappers, songwriters to DJs and multi-instrumentalists, AudioActive keep providing a stage in more ways than one – and that has to be supported.”


Roxy Roberts of Hear No Evil management agreed: “The talent was diverse and unmistakable. It was easy to see how the Emerge program would be put to good use as the potential in each of the young artists was clear to see, the showcase itself providing a safe space for them to shine and support one another. I found myself intrigued by many of the acts and proud to see those that have already pushed themselves to the next level.”


The votes are in…


AudioActive has uncovered two creators that could well add to the hottest soundtracks of 2019. For rapper Phonetic and trip hop/pop artist Mei, the time has come…
Phonetic is an incendiary rapper with a truckload of talent. An alchemist of words, and one who lives and breathes to a beat, she delivers her truth with unbridled conviction. Phonetic is quickly making her presence known in British hip hop circles.

“Mostly I think I’m excited to try new things with my music that perhaps I wouldn’t have been able to try before. I’m all about experimenting and I feel this funding is going to be the ticket to a whole new adventure in my musical career. Watch this space!”  –  Sade (Phonetic)


Of equal stature is Aine Gradisher, a.k.a. Mei, a trip-hop and pop artist that has grown in stature via a superb debut single on College Music records and tracks that are luring in a growing number of devotees.

“I am extremely grateful to AudioActive for believing in my creative vision and giving me the freedom to break boundaries in my artistic expression…I feel AudioActive offers a safe environment with people you can trust to help avoid situations that put artists in a position where they can be taken advantage of”  –  Aine Gradisher (Mei)

Whats on offer?
Rehearsal studios, video shoots, lawyers, mixing and mastering, merchandise… as well as one-to-one access to industry mentors including renowned producers, videographers and managers, radio DJs, PR gurus and accountants, through to frontline artists such as Rizzle Kicks’ Jordan Stephens, vocal-looping pioneer Bunty and South London rap talent Genesis Elijah.
This is no crutch, Emerge promises its chosen bright young things a springboard into the future built upon a foundation very much of their own creation – and to awaken skills even the artists didn’t know they had…Not to mention the ever-present advocacy of AudioActive’s Patron, Rag’n’Bone Man, who invited Emerge artist Phonetic to be the supporting act on his Overproof Tour dates in Glasgow & Manchester!
Funders: PRSF/Arts Council/National Lottery grants

For more information contact: 

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Launching The Movement

We are a community of catalysts… AudioActive is our life support machine/ Filling us to the brim with thoughts and dreams/ While forging the music scene/ We are one big team, not just musically – and the goal is unity.” ‘Ode To AudioActive’ – Eben’Flo

Creativity needs to be fed and watered. Wednesday 24th October at Brighton’s new Holler Brewery saw the launch of AudioActive’s latest initiative in its manifesto to provide a solid foundation for local grassroots talent – and it’s a venture that will do just that.

Aptly christened The Movement, this powerful new enterprise aligns progressive local businesses with the vast array of young artists that keep the urban music scene burning bright, to provide regular funding that will safeguard the future for this cast of talented raconteurs.
And already it’s flourishing.

Two future-minded businesses within the Brighton community that are leading the way as early advocates of the cause are Holler and Fatto A Mano. As such, Holler’s impressive contemporary space, situated in the heart of Brighton’s thriving London Road area, was a fitting launchpad from which to set The Movement in motion.

Not only did Holler’s phenomenal selection of craft beers ensure attendees were well-oiled, but Fatto A Mano’s fine artisan pizzas appeared magically throughout the night.

Victuals aside, at the core of proceedings was AudioActive’s masterly cast of artists, who provided the fireworks via their own inimitable soundtrack to the city.

AudioActive’s ever-present patron Rory Graham – a.k.a. Rag’n’Bone Man – was in attendance to introduce such bright lights as AA alumnus Phonetic, currently making sizeable waves in the British hip hop scene; the immensely gifted Boudicca Pepper, whose blend of hip hop and silky tones has the ability to drop jaws, and a slick sparring session from opening act Bador.

Needless to say, a timely cipher was thrown into the mix that gripped the crowd well into the night…

“The talent performing on the night was incredible,” states Rupert Davidson, first in a growing number to sign up to The Movement.

“As Fatto a Mano and Holler Brewery, we’ve been blown away by AudioActive’s impact at the grassroots in our community. Join The Movement.”

While grants and funding provide organisations such as AudioActive with much-needed revenue, initiatives such as The Movement provide the nuts and bolts.

Fixed donations cover the day-to-day running costs needed to keep AudioActive’s many projects alive – from the Kustom Vibes monthly showcase and pioneering Electric Youth Ensemble through to equipment that’s vital to keep the music coming.

In short, The Movement is about local businesses that are committed to making a difference within their communities and, by signing up, they are safeguarding the future for young talent.

“It just makes so much sense,” says Holler founder Steve Keegan. “If it’s something that you’re going to support, it’s important to have much more of a long-term connection.”

For a project so recently set in motion, it’s significant to see how many future-minded companies are already on board: BeFries, Bread & Milk, Long Story ShortMatchbox Mobile, Alter & Company and, of course, Holler Brewery and Fatto A Mano, have all pledged their continuing support.

In the words of EbenFlo, this truly is ‘a community of catalysts’. Now it’s up to us to add to the spark.

Those wishing to sign up to The Movement should log on to the AudioActive Supporter’s Page at or contact Suggested monthly donations are from £50 – £500.

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AudioActive’s impact, 10 years on

Sam recounts his time as a troubled teen, and his journey to becoming an inspirational emerging artist & music leader. According to Sam, music has had a life-changing impact on his life and he has some frank and fond reflections on his 10 years working with AudioActive.

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