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News October 27, 2015

Tkay Maidza and Kilter ran a workshop at a juvenile detention centre

Former Editor

Adelaide emcee Tkay Maidza and Sydney producer Kilter are the most recent artists to run a songwriting workshop with incarcerated women at Juniperina, a juvenile detention centre in Sydney.

The project of Heaps Decent, an artist-run organisation which creates music with young people from marginalised and disadvantaged Australian communities, has been running for six years at Australia’s only maximum security detention centre for female minors, Juniperina Justice Centre.

During the 90-minute session with 10 detainees last Thursday, Maidza was coaxed into an impromptu rap, while Kilter provided an 808-driven rap beat for them to set their prepared lyrics to.

Kilter, aka Ned East told TMN: “While I’d seen the work Heaps Decent has been doing over the last few years I had no idea what to expect from my session at Juniperina. Arriving at the detention centre and being briefed by the staff had me feeling like I was in for an interesting afternoon especially with the warden saying that the girls have had a particularly testing morning.

“The end product certainly needs a bit of polishing before it dominates the radio but we all had fun,” he added. “It was actually far more enjoyable and relaxed than half the sessions I’ve done with pro musicians.”

Charlie O’Brien aka DJ Charlie Chux is Assistant Manager at Heaps Decent. He told TMN the regular workshops engage with those incarcerated to break up their routine.

“The girls are always so excited to interact and work with new people and break up the monotony of their time at the centre so they were very happy to meet their new guests,” said O’Brien. “The session resulted in a fun song with raps about the girls’ experiences,” he added. “Lots of back and forth with the girls putting Kilter’s production skills to good use on a great beat, and the girls also put Tkay to work on the chorus.”


The organisation is raising funds at the entry to Fuzzy’s Listen Out boutique festival events starting this weekend in Sydney; all proceed will go directly into running more workshops.

Tkay Maidza and Kilter will perform their collaborative track They Say at Listen Out.

Fuzzy Promotions has lined up another artist for the next Heaps Decent workshop, which O’Brien said will be announced in the following weeks.

Heaps Decent was established in 2007 by Nina Las Vegas, Andrew Levins, and US DJ/Producer Diplo (Wesley Pentz).


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