The rough diamonds of Vaulx

Urban Vaulx is an association of Vaulx-en-Velin created by four young people from the area. Its objective is to tap into the city’s talent pool and give young people from the area the opportunity to get to know the world of music. Next Thursday, September 14, the association will give its first rap and singing workshop at the Center Culturel Jean et Joséphine Peyri.

Only 2 years after the creation of the association, most of the time under the influence of covid, the young people of Vaulx-en-Velin at the origin of “Urban Vaulx” come back with us on their journey. Originally composed of three boys: Omar, Shawad, Stani and a girl Auréa, the group has made room over time for BOSKOARTS, a graphic designer who also works in the world of rap. They receive us in their “premises”, which the center makes available to them.

Because if the association is independent, like any non-profit association, it must come to terms with its own means. The 5 volunteers all have a job alongside the association. This does not prevent them from being very involved: “If sometimes we have to take leave to participate in filming or lend a hand, we do it” tells us Auréa.

This former dancer, female spokesperson for the group, does not hide her ambitions or the cultural gap that exists in Vaulx-en-Velin: “When we were little, we participated in events, our parents too. The MJC created things. Today, we felt that nothing is being done, the MJC has lost its capacity. We want to participate in this return to culture in our city. Before, in hip-hop culture, it was often the dance that had been put forward. From now on, people want to rap, we will allow them to rap! We want the people who come to be able to evolve, whether in dance as we did before the covid, or now through music and rap ”.

Now their work focuses on rap. But Omar comes back to the fact that one of their first actions remains charitable and totally far from music: “We have always tried to give visibility to known people and strangers on our Snapchat account. We tried to make connections between artists when possible. But our first real action was to carry out a raid in the city center, which had nothing to do with our initial project. This is close to our hearts”. From these first associative experiences, the group decided to use the strike force and the virality of social networks to share artists from all walks of life, from the territory or elsewhere, in rap or not. The bet is successful, dozens of people approach them every day to obtain media visibility.

An experienced multidisciplinary team

Despite their young associative approach, the group has significant experience and skills for the development of their project: beatmaking, clips, studio recording, community management, clothing research, artistic direction, writing… They have years of running in behind them. In particular Omar, by his rapper name Inédy, a well-known head of Lyon rap from his neighborhood of Mas-du-Taureau.

Alongside their association Urban Vaulx, the group is developing an artist production company (notably the Sector DeV group) where it hopes to be able to support other established artists in building their careers. An objective for SHAWAD, who wants to give the young generation advice that the generation before his did not know how to pass on to him: “Within the project, I put forward my skills in writing. I too am a former rapper. We have a background work of a year to give all the methods – that we did not have – to make them evolve in the world of rap “.

If the group repeatedly evokes the world of rap, it is because they know a lot of aspects of it. The workshop they decide to create at the start of the 2022 school year “Rap / Singing Workshop and Discovery of Music Professions” will take place throughout the year, from September 14 to June, every Wednesday. Between workshops for reflection, writing, recording, video-clip or open-mic on stage… the final objective is to show the multidisciplinary field of the world of music to young people in cultural laziness: ” We want people who come to the workshop to be able to evolve, whether it’s in dance as we did before the covid, or now through music and rap. In our approach, we didn’t want to stop at just rapping. We wanted to produce other people, create events, even if it means having a festival one day”.

On a large scale, the second masterstroke achieved by the team remains via social networks with the call for applications for a film “My 6t cracked”. This film, produced and co-written by a young local who is reminiscent of the 1997 film shot in the Parisian suburbs and produced by filmmaker Jean-François Richet, required the help of Urban Vaulx. The latter then activated his network and received around sixty applications to participate in the casting of the film: actors, stuntmen, rappers, artists of all kinds… Their work is successful, Yanis, director of the film, can finally see “his baby born”. .

The project on stand-by since the arrival of the covid, should surely resume by 2023. For Urban Vaulx, after the finalization of the soundtrack and their work around the casting, “the work is finished”. Enough to move the city around a unifying and powerful project.

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Where does this lack of structure(s) come from in Vaulx-en-Velin?

Yet not so culturally deserted with the Woodstower, the Biennales de la Culture Urbaine, Jazz Vaulx or the traditional “Fête de la musique”… the city north-east of Lyon and neighbor of the 2022 capital of culture Villeurbanne does not seem to do unanimity in all of its districts. For the local actors present on the territory, the conclusion is very different from the eye provided by the town hall: “For the young people we support and in the process in which we are, it is complicated. We lack a lot of things here, especially a recording studio. There is one, the music school studio, but it’s not made for the music we want to produce. You can’t learn anything, because you’re all alone, without accompaniment or a sound engineer. We would like the town hall to take a step towards us, and not only because it would make the headlines or because there are elections. In our own approach, we have everything to gain, nothing to lose.

“It will take the time it takes, but one day we will work together”

Their “No more, no less” relationship with the town hall of Vaulx-en-Velin does not complicate things, but they do not speed them up either. For Omar, “It will take as long as it takes, but one day we will work together. They will have to start looking at our work when they see that we have achieved our objectives”.

The rough diamonds of Vaulx-en-Velin, polished by the Urban Vaulx association