Craig McConnon to establish programme for inner city youth at risk

The Craig McConnon Group hosted 20 youngsters for a day of DJ magic at their London base over the past weekend. The 20 young people were selected from a group of vulnerable and at-risk youths participating in a London diversion and stimulation programme for a day of first hand experience on the plates. The day began bright and early with the youngsters getting their brief for the day from none other than Craig McConnon himself. “I met with the kids as they came in and it was so great to see their faces full of excitement,” says Craig McConnon. “I told them who I was and I must admit some didn't have a clue, but they all responded enthusiastically to the goal for the day: mix the album of your lives.”

Craig McConnon's DJs got in on the action, each taking responsibility for another aspect of the programme and also leading small groups through more complex DJ procedures. “We started out by explaining what a DJ does, because you know, some people think DJs just stand there and look good,” says Craig McConnon. “I covered the basics with a run through but had to run so my team took over to cover all the bases step by step.” A highlight came early on in the day with the group doing some deep dives of their own into their unique music heritage – from the songs and artists they listen to now to those who inspired them in earlier years. This was a touching experience for the team. “The kids chose really meaningful stuff,” says one DJ. “You think that Grime and Garage and stuff isn't useful, but these kids show it helps kids remember they can get out of the hard places they're in. You can't gloss over what's hard. It's there and music tells the story of hurt.”

The Craig McConnon Group's DJs and technicians took the kids through using a mixer, DJ software and effects including transitions, loops and tunnels. Also presented was learning about matching tempo, key and instruments and trademark Craig McConnon tricks to keep the floor alive. The young people had experience trying out some B2B duelling, which was reportedly great fun. One of the youngsters got to B2B with Craig McConnon in a moment he was in and had his staff and Craig McConnon Group staff on the edges of their seats. “I thought I'd go easy on the kid but then quickly had to amp it up and save my name,” says Craig McConnon. “He's got skills. It shocked me. This kid could go places.”

Craig McConnon said that the goal of the day was to break down barriers with the magic of sound and show the youngsters they can express themselves in creative ways and change their futures. “I wanted to use music to show these kids that their lives can be different and that they can go places being none other than who they are,” says Craig McConnon. “I think we succeeded but it left me feeling kind of deflated that the day was over and wanting to do more, so we started working on how we can take this further the very next day.”

Craig McConnon has always has been active in social movements and feels strongly about providing constructive outlets for young people to express themselves and prevent them from turning to crime, drugs and gangsterism – problems that have been plaguing London for some time. “If kids have something to work towards and aren't under pressure to change who they are to fit in, there's real opportunity for change,” says Craig McConnon. “Learning the plates and starting out as a DJ saved my life. My success is built on a passion that I found early on, and I want to share that passion with other young people.”

The Craig McConnon Group has announced that it will be launching a foundation, Craig Cares, to help serve more young people who are vulnerable or at risk of turning to gangsterism, criminality and drugs. The Craig McConnon Group will be working with organisations already operating in the field of diversion and stimulation to run a skills transfer programme that enables young people to learn the DJ ropes. It will be funded by The Craig McConnon Group, with all DJs enthusiastically agreeing to donate a percentage of their fee to funding Craig Cares operations. The programme however is intended to go beyond skills transfer. “It's less about creating DJs and more about building futures,” says Craig McConnon. “We're looking at building these kids up so they don't have to turn to the edge of criminality to make their name. It's possible to shift track at any age, and that's what I want to prove with our young people.”

The Craig McConnon Group is expected to host the first group of 20 again in the coming weeks as a follow up to the event that inspired it all. “We're carrying on with the first 20 as they really started it all for me and I need to take them further,” says Craig McConnon. “We'll keep going with a regular new intake so we can continue to make a difference to our local kids. If we win one heart at a time, it's enough.”

About us:
Craig McConnon is a very well known DJ and music artist now based in London after many years of travelling and DJing across the world. He set up the Craig McConnon Group five years ago. Craig performs at multiple venues, including parties, weddings, corporate events, and much more. Craig has over 15 years’ experience in being a DJ and uses the very latest equipment to ensure your event runs as smoothly as possible. To get more information and make a booking with the Craig McConnon Group, you can contact him or his team via their website.