For me, the idea of 'campaigning' isn't something I was completely aware that I did. I've always been the type of person to chase down every opportunity ferociously and, as a music leader, offering opportunities and sharing my experience is at the core of what I do.
When I joined Wired4Music I began to see the power of a collective voice. I began to see the patterns in both need and ambition. At Wired4Music, we believe in not only the pursuit of opportunities for ourselves, but also for others. In speaking up and speaking out, our manifesto seeks to engage not only more young Londoners but policy makers, funders and other stakeholders. I've seen first-hand how we are able to positively effect change - like through organising our Wired4Music choir or getting involved in the consultation on Musical Progression in Enfield.
For other young people to get attention on an issue they care about I would say find a team! Whatever your challenge, your idea or your battle - there will always be other people fighting the same fight. Get together and figure out the big picture. Once you know that, you can start by taking a first step, however small..
As a musician, playing with Pocketclub, my goal is to make the best music I can. As a music leader it is to share my experiences and offer opportunities to the widest variety of young people I can. As a music campaigner it is to challenge those with power to provide those without equal access to music opportunities - from performing, to career pathways and industry contacts.
In all honesty, if someone said that they don't think politics is relevant to them part of me would agree. Politics is a funny word, with a funny stigma. What I've learnt is that discussing your own difficulties, with peers or with 'decision makers', is the only way to forge solutions. Beyond that, we have a responsibility to those who can't speak out, to help them to speak out or do it for them.
Adem Holness is a music leader with Wired4Music and helps with their Manifesto for the future of music in London. Wired4Music, hosted by Sound Connections, is a unique leadership programme for young Londoners who are passionate about music.
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