Since stepping into his first breakdancing workshop at 13 years of age, urban arts instructor, Pep-C, or as you may otherwise know him, Andrew Burrows, has been in love and involved with the Hip Hop genre. Mentored over the years by DeeJay Mathmatics, as an entertainer and musician, Pep-C now passes on his skills at Newcastle’s Pivot Studio, teaching both adult and kid’s R&B Hip Hop breakdancing class. He also hosts school holiday workshops teaching kids all types of urban skills, including breakdancing, graffiti art, DJing and music production.
In a world where Hip Hop has been placed alongside negative connotations involving drugs and violence, Pep-C aims to bring back the conception that he grew up with.
“What I was taught when I was younger was Hip Hop is about peace, love, unity and having a good time, and that’s as simple as it is,” explained Pep-C during his chat on ABC’s Story Box Program.
He has been particularly focused on this message during the music program he is currently running with four primary Indigenous young boys from the Frank Baxter Juvenile Justice Centre in Kariong on the Central Coast.
The program has involved letting the boys put together their own music track, teaching them to write lyrics and create instrumentals, with the work centered around creating a new beginning, about being free from all the mess and chasing the dream of a better a life.
“My workshops are full of positivity and are based on giving the disadvantaged kids of Australia a different view or aspect on life that they are in. No one has a choice about where they are born, who their parents are, what they look like or what colour skin they have, the only choice we have is the choice of what life we want to live” said Pep-C.
In the last week of the program the boys will get to go to the Regional Youth Support Service (RYSS) centre to record their music in a professional recording studio.
All of Pep-C’s Hip Hop workshops focus on looking at the genre as a collective one that embodies, not only music, but also art, creativity and movement, and reinforces that the Hip Hop community is actually a close one that is accepting and embracing of everyone.
So why Pep-C? “When I first started breaking dancing, I use to wear this ridiculously oversized Pepsi t-shirt. At that time the slogan was “the choice of the next generation” and DeeJay Mathmatics gave me that name purely because he could see me doing this in the future,” explained Pep-C on the Story Box Program.
Pep-C is set to release his album Focused with Anarchy N Alchemy Records on November 11th. The tracks on the album don’t exactly reflect your typical Australian Hip Hop sound, but rather bring together funk, soul and jazz influences, into a more experimental approach. The album release will be coupled with an exclusive VIP launch party to celebrate!
For more information about his album, launch party and workshops, and to get a bit of #woopwoop in your day, check out Pep-C on Facebook.