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Red Light Busking - Finding Our Purpose

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Red Light Busking Purpose Part 2


Our beginnings like most were simple. 4TY was the name, an acronym for For The Youth. Very fitting as in the early days our concept was simple, like a child laughs from a tickle. Music and media was our tool for cutting shapes that helped the disadvantaged youth. The horn of the bus goes honk, traversing London’s corners in a minibus that was grey, interviewing rappers, interviewing poets, interviewing singers, the youth being the voice in asking questions that gave light to the artists current understanding of the world. 

Each one teach one.


David Anglin

For part 1 please click here

The short stories above detail some of the experiences I had working with young people known to the criminal justice system. Where the story Jerry looks at it from the point of view of a professional while Preachers Chronicles looks at it from the point of view of a young person. 

Whenever I think back to the above video with Modupe, I’m always reminded that it’s possible to find light within difficult circumstances and that sometimes life doesn’t go the way we want, but the way we need.


It was 5am a bitterly cold January in 2020, I’d just received this message on Instagram from a singer (I won’t name them) who I was supposed to be seeing today for doing the first new experimental look for our red light busking sessions.

As it was coming out of my pocket, I managed to secure a few freebies to help with the cost, so use of the shop big up 100% U, and my friend working the camera, big up Aki. So you can imagine my shock when at 5 am, on the day of the planned event, I got a message telling me that they could not do today, I think due to mental health issues.

Even as I write this I can remember how my insides felt like an anaconda had materialised and was slowly tightening around the softness of my insides. I felt helpless, I immediately wanted to just cancel the experimental event. But honestly, that thing inside me that keeps me ticking told me you'd be letting everyone down, and that we can find a way.


So changing my mindset I said I’m making this happen regardless! Believe me when I say the eye of the tiger would have had nothing on me! As my mind focused like a student with minutes left to complete their pass paper began computing at a rate that would have matched the processing speed of a MacBook Pro (I may be exaggerating just a touch 😊) and I got to work in finding a replacement. I messaged and emailed like a thirsty guy who had finally received their friend request accepted by that one particular lady they liked 😁.


And I think around 9 am, while still in bed and unwashed I got that email back to say they would be happy to perform for this experimental idea. Thank you Modupe!

Now I said it before and I’ll say it again sometimes things don’t happen the way you want, but the way you need. Some may call it fate, but I think it’s the universe reminding you of your infinite connection to it and the creator as a masterful cosmic plan that comes to pass.


Fast forward to around 7pm and Modupe arrived. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Modupe as this was to be my first time hearing her live. But when she opened her mouth to sing, a small frame producing such a big voice the whole room went quiet, as if enchanted by this master at work. The other singer was good, but she had nothing on Modupe. Those souls strolling the night streets of Walthamstow's Hoe Street during this time would not only have been met by lighting reminiscent of the last of a dying sun but would have felt tingles in their souls as beautiful words sung touched their very core.


Without a doubt, this event was the start of us really going about the mission of transforming shop windows into live performance stages for musicians. Though for me personally, it's a reminder that when things get hard you dig deep.

If you've enjoyed reading our journey so far and would love to support what we do, please consider making a donation as this allows us to keep our exhibitions free for our community and allows us to continue on in our work with young people in social care who really are at risk of getting caught up in the violence and craziness of street life. Even if you can only give £1 that's fine, as we make every £ work. Thank you and greatly appreciated.

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