We are so excited that the latest Keychange Inspiration Award winner is the brilliant Popkollo, find out more about their work and what they do to support and incredible music community below.
– An introduction to Popkollo
Popkollo is an organization for girls and trans youth, organizing music camps foremost for 12 to 18 years olds, but also for women and trans people over 18. At a typical Popkollo camp the participants learn how to play instruments, form bands, write songs, participate in inspiring workshops and perform live. You are not required to any musical knowledge before you come to our camps, the only thing needed is a passion for music. We adapt our camps to fit everyone’s needs, regardless of previous experience and knowledge. All our mentors have completed a Popkollo mentor training where they learn tips and tricks on how to create the best possible environment for everyone to participate and be creative together. If you already have some musical experience, Popkollo offers genre-specific camps, such as jazz or metal/punk.
Popkollo is a part of the international membership network Girls Rock Camp Alliance (GRCA), with over 90 organizations all over the world. For example: Popkollo’s sibling organizations in GRCA Europe organized an international camp in Berlin in July 2018 with over 60 participants and 30 leaders. The camp had three different specializations: music, media, management.
– What are your greatest / proudest achievements?
It’s always touching to see young participants be up on stage at the final concert at the end of the camp, in front of friends and family, sometimes it’s the first time they are on stage. They look so happy and proud and when the concert is over it often ends in a lot of hugs and happy tears.
– What are some of the challenges you’ve faced and overcome throughout your journey?
Our biggest challenge has always been lack of funding, sometimes it’s hard to find the energy to keep working when we are always limited by funding. We challenge the system by offering participation fees lower than the actual cost of the operation. We offer participants the option of choosing a fee between a certain price range, depending on their ability to pay.
– What are your future plans, and why does the project remains so vital?
Popkollo is constantly evolving depending on current needs. A few of our latest efforts include an operation that challenges norms within music production and tech-use, and another for girls and trans people who are newcomers.
“Popkollo’s efforts are crucial in creating a much needed music industry that is more inclusive and equal.” – Shanta Afroze, former participant of Popkollo’s producer programme Vem Kan Bli Producent (Who Can Become a Producer).
– Any comments on Keychange and receiving the award
A big thank you! It means a lot to get this attention and we hope that this will help to spread the word about our organisation and our purpose: equality in the music industry.
– Anything else you feel is important to mention?!
The work for equality should not stop just because we have more female and transgendered artists in the music industry. We always have to challenge each other – be intersectional – and white cis-guys should step down and give space to girls/trans people/people of color, who should not have to fight this hard to be heard.