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SAE London Audio student tackles knife crime with The Music Bus initiative

An impression of what the bus could look like.

SAE London Audio Production student Ihsan Ahmed is the founder of a startup called The Music Bus, which is aiming to raise £35,000 on Just Giving to reduce antisocial behaviour and knife crime in underprivileged areas.

The Music Bus is a creative music space designed to promote the creation and promotion of the creative arts such as Electronic Music Production (EMP) on a re-fitted, iconic London double-decker bus.

The initial £35,000 will pay for the actual bus and basic refitting.

Ihsan said: “To keep the costs as low as possible I’ll try and get volunteers involved as well as do partnerships with professionals who can help with electric and soundproofing work.”

The startup aims to build a state of the art EMP studio on wheels.

Ihsan added: “To be successful The Music Bus will need a small team which will consist of the bus driver, music producer/audio engineer and manager. We will outsource and partner up with life coaches, music therapists, people who do workshops and motivational talks and so on.”

Being mobile would allow The Music Bus to target deprived areas which currently don’t have access to music production facilities or where it is just too expensive to book studio time.

Ihsan continued: “I have had firsthand experience of not being able to afford studio time and with no other opportunities in sight I saw no option but to spend time in certain social circles in which I was exposed to extreme violence, drugs, weapons and even fraud.

“I always knew that wasn’t the right way to live so I focused all my energy in avoiding those people, essentially distancing myself from people I used to call friends and learning how to write and produce music and videos. I never looked back.”

They will also use the space for workshops, mentoring, coaching, songwriting camps as well as music therapy sessions to reset the mind, body and soul.

Ihsan said: “I was part of an anti-knife crime campaign back in 2009 as part of an Urban Pop Group and have since then been working on myself, my skills and my mindset so I can give back to the community and be a beacon of hope for creatives like myself when I was in my teens.”

Drawing on his own experiences, Ihsan wants to show young people that there are alternative routes and pathways for them to go down.

He added: “I want to show our youth that you don’t ever have to carry a weapon or move drugs to change your life. We are lucky to be in a country with such a huge support for creatives and I believe we just need more people leading the frontier who they can actually relate to.

“Projects like these will not only create jobs but also future owners and more importantly leaders.”

Find out more about The Music Bus on their website, or donate to the Just Giving campaign here