Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) is responsible for some of the most influential books ever written.

During the French Renaissance, ancient Greek and Roman thought was highly admired and it was considered inappropriate to talk about your own views of the world.

Montaigne mocked the arrogance of such intellectuals. He suggested that everyone is capable of being wise if they only take time to examine the world around them and come to ‘know themselves’.

If we do not understand something, it is not because we are stupid, but often because it hasn’t been explained well enough.

Here are a few Mich-quotes to finish on:

Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself.

Even on the most exalted throne in the world, we are only sitting on our own bottom.

Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know. 

Day 2 featured a day of cultural hip-hop exchange hosted by Lost Collective, who featured as a partner and enhancer in the collaboration with EYM and Hip-Hop Valley/Natural Collective from Portugal. The artists from the UK and Portugal came together for a day of cultural exchange not only in movement but through words as well. In a rap talk that was held, they explored what hip-hop means in their cultures and connecting over the similarities and differences.


A video presentation enlightened hip-hop battles over the last 10 years which spurred on a battle/jam between the UK and resident crew of Lisbon. The battle was thrilling to watch and was teeming with energy, life and vibrance as these people form all over the world connected through dance. The day did not end with dancing though, as Lost Lisbon generously provided dinner for all artists and volunteers at a small charge. The night then continued into local bar Copenhagen, where the dancers had space to move, cypher and network.


Whilst the exchange was taking place, the artist liaisons from the EYM team were at base at the EKA Palace putting together preparations for the following days event. This included creating space for art exhibitions, making the space studio ready for performers and making sure everything was running smoothly.
Day 2 was jam-packed for all involved in both performance and preparation, yet the day was strung together with thoughts of unity, exchange and collaboration.

Day 1 of Elevate Young Minds at EKA Palace and Lost Lisbon!

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The accommodation for all artists and volunteers was generously offered with sponsorship by Lost Lisbon, an arts hostel based in the heart of the city centre. The hostel offers a unique flavour of art that hints at cultural inspiration and quality with vintage items of cameras, televisions and typewriters. Upon arrival you were stunned by the historic staircases which made the centre of the building, Lost Lisbon although created as if it is an art exhibition, features classic spacious rooms, tinted with vibrant art and serine water views. The EYM team met together for a generously provided breakfast to begin discussing the plans for the festival and looking forward to the hip-hop cultural exchange which is hosted by the hostel itself. This juxtaposition of art, accommodation and hip-hop culture really creates a place to stay that is unlike any other, one that inspires.14233380_10206637329804193_1075910228_o

The festival is held by and located at EKA palace, a performance and arts building tucked away between the risen streets of the city. Walking through the front door provided stunning views with rooms tainted with cultural and intricate designs. The rooms are decorated with paintings and graffiti art, none the same but each bringing an aura of colour and life to the space. The outside veranda hosts again vibrant art with beautiful space where the heat of Lisbon can really be enjoyed. EKA hosts a range of clothing and an independent bar which supports the bringing together of the artistic scene.
EKA hosts events and exhibitions as a collective and it is through previous partnership that this collaboration came about. Between three spaces in the space, there is a room for art exhibition, dance and theatre performances and live music and slam poetry. This collaboration really allows for artistic generosity and exchange, artists are able to move through the space and be inspired continuously by all different forms.  EYM will be resident artists here for three days as we pass through this creative collaboration.


The first day of the collaboration featured technical rehearsals and classes lead by performers and experts in the industry who are interested in sharing their passion and talent. The first class was shared by Daniel Phung  from the UK who lead a contemporary dance exploration to reconnect the body and find peace in the city. We also saw technical rehearsal from Stitch Theatre, Daniel Phung and Kayleigh Price and Edenamiuki Aiguobasinmwin , Bethan Ellis and Matthew Hill.  Both artists and volunteers took the time to explore the building and prepare themselves for the festival before heading back to Lost Lisbon, where we engaged in a talk on the ecology of human relationship and non-violent communication. The talk really drew back the idea of unity between young people and artists and the day ended on a sense of peace and togetherness.

They do so much more than that but you need a short snappy title don’t you? Anyway yeah, these guys are promoting a healthy lifestyle and fresh diet whilst raising awareness for and joining the dots between climate change, social justice, organic gardening, environmental awareness and hip hop.

DJ Cavem (aka Ietef Vita) and Mixmaster Alkemia (aka Arasia Earth) run seminars, workshops and community programmes through their organisation Going Green Living Bling which include a culinary concert called “Food On Fleek” and screenings of their documentary “From Gangs To Gardens”. They are dedicated to promoting an organic and healthy lifestyle from setting up a grocery store/grow space called The GrowHaus where you can buy and grow organic vegetables, to releasing a vegan cookbook called Damn Near Raw and releasing an album/curriculum called The Produce Section: The Harvest, this couple are up for educating and promoting  a healthy lifestyle through any medium they can get their hands on.

Ietef was nominated for the 2014 Music Educator Grammy, has spoken at TedXManhatten and was even invited to The White House for the 127th Easter Egg Roll to perform their Culinary Concert.

“My goal is to promote the idea of holistic health, permaculture, urban agriculture, yoga and culinary wellness. Unfortunately, sometimes there’s almost a resistance to anything like that in our community. For example, in my school programs sometimes I’ve had to disguise yoga as breakdancing, math and engineering as music production and language arts as poetry and spoken word. I try to teach the students about how they can create their own business in urban agriculture. I also have a curriculum that introduces educational plant-based cooking, as well as juicing and raw foods. I have a lecture series that covers EcoHipHop, food justice, gang intervention, race and politics, organic gardening and graffiti art. I even lead a class called HipHop Yoga.” Ietef tells NBC.

Needless to say, trying to promote this kind of stuff to communities where there’s literally more liquor stores than grocery stores is no easy task but the couple have thrown themselves at the challenge whole heartedly and their sincerity definitely shows.

Check the couple’s Ted talk below:


Elevate Young Minds is pleased to announce EYM LX, a pop up festival for around 40 young artists in a cultural exchange based in Lisbon, Portugal. The one day festival will feature multidisciplinary art of all forms and is created around exploring connections and opening up cultural access to all.
This event was inspired by the passion of young collaborative artists and supporting artists on their ascent into the professional industry. At Elevate Young Minds, we believe it is important to foster and nurture artistic talent in all forms, and this exchange in Lisbon will provide opportunity to share work and to engage with others. Elevate Young Minds LX is made up of students from Leeds Beckett University (UK), artists from across the globe and volunteers and artists from Lisbon, Portugal.

Taking place on the 3rd September 2016 at EKA Palace, this festival will begin at 6pm and continue into the early hours of the morning. At EKA the artists will converge their diverse artistic mediums and approaches to create a fascinating one-day festival, combining theatre performances, street shows, concerts and an exhibition to reflect youth voice at an international extension.
Line up and ticket information is below:

Tickets: 3 Euro— Sale opens at 18:00

Exhibiting Artists: Beatriz Bagulho, Inês Brito, Alice Albergaria Borges, Madalena Wallenstein, Pedro Saúde, Sebastião Ribeiro Soares, Luana Sal, André Correia, Diogo Gama, Lisa Fernandes, Bárbara Faden, Carolina Caramujo

Film Artists: Clara Jost e Tiago Santos, Rita António, Cru Na and Ana Anix Antadze

Slam Poetry: Cru Na, Marco Galrito, Vitor Malvas, Ana Homem de Melo

Performance Line up (Contemporary Theatre, Dance and Concert)
18:30- (Outside) Stitch Theatre – Rise to Vertex. James Rowling, Martyna Kozanecka
19:30-( Inside) -This Land? Beth Ellis, Matthew Hill, Edenamiuki Aiguobasinmwin
20:00- (Outside) – Camisa
20:30 – (Inside) –Two, Daniel Phung and Kayleigh Price
21:00- (Outside) – Ossos D’Ouvido
21:30- interval – 30 min.
22:00 – (Concert room) – Império Pacífico
23:00 – (Concert room) – Morning Coffee
00h00 – (Concert room) – Maxi Zee
01h00 – (Schwarzwelt) – Vince Royce


We are also looking for volunteers from Portugal who are able to assist with the running of the festival, volunteers will need to be available on the 3rd September 2016 and passionate about supporting an arts based festival.

If interested please contact: admin@youngmindmatters.com 


Elevate Young Minds is pleased to announce that we will be recreating Young Minds Matter LAB, a scratch platform curated for artists of all medias to come together and share their work.
The LAB event which will take place on the 1st October, is the extension of the international tour Elevate Young Minds has already created platforms for in Tanzania and in Lisbon this September. The event itself will focus upon the stigma surrounding mental health, particularly in younger people.  At Young Minds Matter LAB we will discuss mental health, through performances and expert perspective on the issue. Young Minds Matter LAB will offer local and international students from different artistic disciplines, the opportunity to present their work to reflect youth voice at an international extension.


Elevate Young Minds is announcing a call out for musicians who would be able to perform at Young Minds Matter LAB on the 1st October 2016 at Headingley Campus, Leeds Beckett University.
The musicians may be from any discipline or genre, just with the passion for sharing art and performing. If interested or have any further questions/queries,  please contact:  admin@youngmindmatters.com

Performance captured from Young Minds Matter LAB 2015                                                                            Performance captured from Young Minds Matter LAB 2015

As an organisation, Elevate Young Minds aims to prompt better understanding and helps to reduce the stigma of mental health for young people through art and movement. Giving young artists the platform to grow within the arts community through connecting them with professionals in the industry and the general public, will provide stepping stones needed to be immersed in the exciting world of arts.  We curate and organise collaborative events throughout the year, this year we have five events in line locally and international, aiming to support and connect over 300 young artists, online and at our events.

Headingley Campus, Church Wood Avenue, LS6 3HF Leeds

Phonetics DJs Guest Mix for Andy H : The Rotation Show – UK Mondo

Listen to the show below – Phonetics DJs (Chris, Danny, Stoaty)


Back in the early 2000s Sheffield nightlife scene was a very different place. CDJs were relatively un-trusted, Hip Hop & DnB were the main styles of underground music. Dubstep was unheard of and everyone smoked in the clubs whether intentionally or passively.

Phonetics was the staple Sheffield Saturday night for anyone into Hip Hop. UK Hip Hop was gaining huge momentum with artist like Roots Manuva Ty, Jehst & Braintax showing that while we all loved the classic US Boom Bap sound the UK had something serious to offer.

With a perfect balance of UK and international artists I was exposed to many of the big names in the Hip Hop scene in this 500 capacity venue where it felt like everyone knew everyone else.

As the scene developed bookings at the night did too bringing in the emerging broken beat music that had very few outlets outside of the capital along with some amazing vocalists and performers to the humble Sheffield stage.

For the last few months I have spotlighted some of the DJs and artists that have helped mould the Sheffield music scene on my UK Mondo show. Phonetics was obviously was very high on that list. I caught up with Chris Welch ahead of their guest mix to quiz him about the Phonetics days.

  1. I know there was a few of you involved but where did the Phonetics idea and model come from?

CW: In terms of the people, it actually started out as a Monday night at The Casbah. Think we used to get about 30 people in! Originally it was started by Levi Bussue and Steve Marks. I’d just moved to Sheffield and was looking for places to DJ at and I got taken for a half a pint by them and paid about £4 for the first night so was impressed straight away! Nights like the Tuesday Club were in their infancy (yep that long ago) and there were already nights such as NY Sushi around but there was the emerging UK hip hop sound that Riles and Levi, in particular, were pushing. What I loved about it at first was the lack of strategy (unless I was missing something) and they just gave us total freedom to play what we wanted. We were just excited about the music we were playing and being able to do so at our own nights!

We moved to a Thursday and for a time just tried to do as much stuff in different places as a unit as possible. But the Casbah was where the core group of DJs were formed: me, Danny Mager, Riles and Levi – later on DJs such as Stoaty and Matt Garber played with us too after we had moved to Saturdays at Po Na Na.

Steve left and a bloke called Stuart ran it alongside Levi. It became Phonetics and it stayed there for about 4 years. It’s hard to believe now that a night playing the music we did ran for that amount of time as a weekly…some of our guests were known and pulled a crowd but others were not well known at all. I guess it was before late bars so it was either go to a club or go home and as much as all of us love free stuff, there’s something 13815100_10157137444120655_1254919619_nabout paying to get in somewhere that you give it more of a chance. We kept the entrance fee low (Levi operated on 1980s Yorkshire prices) and the crowd was a diverse mix of music heads, stoners (early doors would involve big fugs of smoke around the seating area), a bunch of then school-kids who we found out later were far too young to be in there but who just loved the music, students and people who seemed to chance upon it, loved it and kept coming back. There was no dress code or any of that bollocks and when rappers asked for a VIP area they often were left sorely disappointed.

Levi was the driving force musically behind the night. He’d get bored really easily, would only put on stuff that he was excited about and would always look to keep expanding what we were playing and putting on…I think at times we lost the crowd with some of the acts we were excited about but the crowd weren’t but it was all with good intentions! After Po Na Na closed down we did a few bits and pieces at various venues and were moving more into a live music direction but suitable venues were an issue. The final night we did was with a live performance from this mental Japanese jazz band called Soil & Pimp Sessions which was like jazz with a punk mentality. They ripped the place up, 90 minutes of fire and no encores (although maybe that had something to do with them mistaking my raw pork steaks for their rider and eating the lot!) and that seemed a good place to finish. At one point Phonetics was running in three cities and were heavily involved in events like The Big Bang at the Ski Village. In our fourth year we’d sort of weathered a storm but then the club’s ownership and reputation became a problem which kind of ended things prematurely.

It was just brilliant good fun, exciting music and something we all cared deeply about. Like all good club nights, it was messy, honest and heartfelt rather than corporate, slick and soulless – sometimes it was all over the place but it was full of good people and when a small community forms for a period of time out of a club night and it feels like it matters to people then that’s a really good feeling. We’ve toyed with the idea of doing one-off reunion nights but we are not that big on nostalgia and actually we just sat there coming up with acts and music we like now so it perhaps wouldn’t work in that way. Maybe one day it will happen. It’s nice to dig out some of those old tunes for the show though as most of them are gathering dust and sitting pretty on the shelves at home.

Levi: Phonetics was all about co-operation with other nights in the city during that time. We all had our rivalries but, for example, I was always forcing Maley (Tuesday Club) away from his degree and we were all out promoting Phonetics and Tuesday Club…one helped the other so it made sense and it led to Double Cooked at the National Centre for Pop Music…remember that place? We did other collaborations too including Big Bang with NY Sushi and nights just called Sheffield at the Uni with Remedy as well. Plus some really good joint NYE with Scuba who were upstairs in the same club. At one point, we were all sharing the same office space. We also gave an outlet to many local and breakthrough artists, all female line ups and wanted to push what we had rather than just always bringing in ‘names’. We got known for the hip hop originally but actually for the first few years we had a proper jazz dance night involved too with Mark Jones and Mr Skip doing a monthly so it’s not entirely accurate.

We took Phonetics abroad to Le Big Bang in France and other cities around the UK and I really liked the flyers we were producing – we were getting quite political with some of them– our one of Bush in a Nazi pose and the words ‘Dance While You Still Can’ was apparently seen on the million man march against the Iraq War in 2003.

  1. Which are the stand-out artists that you had play for you guys?

Levi and CW: Think Mark B (RIP) & Blade sticks in the memory due to it being a night when I think it was clear we were onto something. The early hip hop nights with people like Taskforce were raw and just had these kids who were so passionate about the music. Roots Manuva (around the time ‘Witness’ was released) played our first birthday and it was about 150 over capacity, sweaty beyond belief and just gloriously messy. Saian Supa Crew – this French hip hop group that were used to playing in massive venues – came and just destroyed it and opened up a whole new dimension for us in the things we felt we could do. Fat Freddy’s Drop, who Levi booked after hearing one track was a bit of a risk as it was a Saturday night and we’ve got this unknown kiwi spaced out reggae 8 piece band with one 12” single out that we’d picked up from The Store all squeezed onto a stage that wasn’t really a stage. Then there was the whole short-lived Brazilian DnB thing – Fernanda Porto and Mad Zoo, Drumagick they were brilliant, they were very humble and just excited to be playing – no sense of entitlement that you get with some DJs – their energy and vibe just won everyone over straight away.

  1. The Broken Beat scene was always accused of being too London centric and insular. How did you find booking these artists and putting them on to a crowd 200 miles up the road from London?

CW: Difficult at times! We loved that music from the start and those tunes still stand the test of time. I remember clearing a floor in the first few weeks of Phonetics by playing Afronaught’s ‘Transcend Me’..the whole dancefloor walked off to get a drink! I think we put off some of the hip hop crowd with our excitement about it but you can’t stand still when it comes to music. We booked a lot of DJs working around this scene: Dego, Seiji, Phil Asher, Bugz in the Attic, Patrick Forge, Benji B…some had already worked out that South Yorkshire wasn’t Plastic People and adapted well – we had Seiji, Benji B and Spacek back, Bugz in the Attic did a live thing which went off…Others were a bit too militant and had come to play their broken beat white labels regardless of whether the club was emptying. It was a bit of a shame as it could have been so much more and, in the end, petered out. Having lived in London, I understood the mentality but just feel it sometimes alienated people with its ‘Don’t you get it?’ mentality. Having said that, when you’re sticking your neck out and just making exciting music that you want to make then why compromise?

By the time we finished up though, I think we got a partial success as tunes such as 4 Hero’s ‘Hold it Down’, Seiji’s stuff, loads of Bugz stuff and Zero DB’s remix of Suba’s ‘Samba do gringo de Paulista’ became Phonetics anthems.

Levi: Actually one of the best nights we ever had was when the entire Bugz in the Attic crew came with Lyric L and Kaidi Tatham on Keys and drums. Pete Simpson jumped on the mic with them and they all just smashed it and we continued way beyond opening hours as people wouldn’t leave.

  1. What artists are still getting you excited about music these days?

CW: Too many! I love the resurgent jazz stuff at the moment: Kamasi Washington, Sons of Kemet, Theo Croker, Moses Boyd etc…people who wouldn’t have checked it out a few years ago are giving it a chance so that’s great. I love it when music I like does well and, you know, the artist gets to survive and make more great music!

There’s load of incredible soul music too such as Hiatus Kaiyote out of Melbourne – if we were still running Phonetics we’d have sold our shoes to put them on! – Michael Kiwanuka, Anderson Paak, Harleighblu, Adrian Younge.

I like some of the footwork stuff and beats stuff like Flying Lotus, Kaytranada etc. And then there’s loads of afro-influenced stuff that just works so well on dancefloors. Check out a track by London Afrobeat Collective called Oye (iZem remix)…that’s the sort of stuff which, when I hear it, all I can think of is when I can get to play it out. Then usually it bombs…BUT later people like it.

You’ve got to check out these gents called Future Wildstyle as well!

Levi: Loads of stuff but one label whose stuff I’m loving is Mello Music group…good quality hip hop and soul out of the US.

  1. I have guested a few times on your Sheffield Live show. Along with this what are you guys up to musically right now.

Well, Danny is still DJing – you can catch him warming up the room for Thundercat in Leeds in August…I’m playing out quite a bit still, doing my latin music thing, Soul Rebels in Leeds which is a great live music meets club thing put on by the legendary DJ Lubi. Me and Danny play over there and you’re a regular guest too!

Am also at the Kabal Tramlines thing and was really chuffed to get invited to play their last party earlier this year! Love them lot. Then am with you at Cut Chemist and Soundwave Festival in August. So that’s all lovely – I still love DJing and don’t have any plans to stop…perhaps when my hearing goes and I can’t hear the kids calling me names in my day job (teacher). Actually that might come in handy! Riles is a Dad now and Levi is learning the giant orchestral harp for a solo project called ‘The Peruvian in an Indigo Mood’ – he’s like the new Alice Coltrane but with a Yorkshire accent*. We did an album under the name Phuture Motion about 5 or 6 years ago which is shockingly still available at all good online stores or via me for a quid or two. I’m proud of that album actually but at the moment we haven’t got any plans to do some more…we shall see!

*May not be true.



Jon Phonics – Seeta
Champion – Chrome
Majora – Moves On (Killjoy Remix)
Top cat – Request The Style (Special Request Remix)
Deekline & Specimen A Feat. Rubi Dan – Ra Ra Ra
Pharaoh K – Duke
Negativ – Stealth VIP
Jon Phonics – Ka$h Money
Omar – I Want It To Be (Scratch Professer Retwist)
Thatmanmonkz – A Fly New Tune

Old School Hip Hop Mix

1) Das Efx – Represent The Real (Featuring KRS-One)
2) Tha Alkaholiks – Make Room
3) Beatnuts- Watch Out Now
4) Das EFX – They Want EFX
5) Cypress Hill – How i could just kill a man
6) A Tribe Called Quest – Award Tour
7) Lords Of The Underground – Flow On(Pete Rock Remix)
8) Nas – Halftime
9) Craig Mack – Flava In Ya Ear
10) N.W.A – Express Yourself
11) Nice & Smooth – Hip Hop Junkies
12) Capone N Noreaga Invincible
13) Biz Markie – Turn The Party Out
14) Camp Lo – Say Word (feat. Jungle Brown)
15) Pete Rock & CL Smooth – T.R.O.Y. (They reminisce over you)
16) Main Source – Looking At The Front Door
17) The Pharcyde- Soul Flower (Remix)
18) Rakim – Guess Who’s Back
19) Mos Def – Mathematics
20) Afu-Ra – Poisonous Taoist
21) Original Flavor – Can I Get Open

Phonetics Mix

A hundred and twenty years ago, Swami Vivekananda was a famous Hindu monk, who had toured America and was giving a series of lectures around the UK about his beliefs. By openly discussing his own particular philosophy, Swami is credited with raising interfaith awareness and introducing Indian philosophy, including Yoga, to the western world.

Here are some great quotes I have discovered:

“Whatever you think, that you will be.
If you think yourself weak, weak you will be;
if you think yourself strong, you will be.” 

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life; dream of it; think of it; live on that idea. Let the brain, the body, muscles, nerves, every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success…”

“The essence of Vedanta (the form of Hinduism that Swami practiced) is that there is but one Being and that every soul is that Being in full, not a part of that Being”. He also said: “The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves.”

An ordinary deck of cards, with layers of artificial air between, is squeezed with the small, wrinkled fingers of a man more used to counting cash. Though it is the cards that keep him in the business of illusion.

According to Brian Miller, magician and TEDx speaker, “our world is a shared experience, fractured by individual perspectives”. Complete together, yet disconnected, like a deck of cards. Shared understanding alone can bring about a society we’re all proud of, where everyone feels valued. “But what’s really wrong with where we are now?” someone shouts. Maybe they’re right. Maybe ‘now’ shouldn’t be dismissed. Maybe, even, Now is the key. Right now

I first tried ‘mindfulness meditation’ when I felt tired of worrying about everything I wanted to achieve in my life. You sit comfortably and try to focus on an ‘anchor point’, such as breathing slowly through your nose. Meditation is a simple concept but is very hard to maintain in practice, even for a minute. It may sound wacky or pointless, but recent science has shown daily meditation actively grows the area in your brain associated with compassion and self-awareness, and causes the region associated with stress to shrink. It can even boost your immune system, as the brilliant video below points out.

The Chinese tradition of Qigong is an alternative form of ‘moving meditation’ that includes Tai Chi. It aims to balance ‘qi’ (life energy), which I think of as a metaphor for a calm mental state. A feeling of harmony with the world is uncommon in our modern society, yet we all yearn for a fulfilling life. If you meditate consistently, you will feel balanced, and better able to express yourself. If enough of us take up this art, who knows what effect it could have on our relationships and even society as a whole?

“Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching